Dungavel Detention Center protest

Jul 04, 2005

A protest against the jailing of asylum seekers was held on July 5 at Dungavel, Scotland. Coordinated with G8 Alternatives, peaceful protesters were overwhelmed by the large presence of militarized police, with their horses and dogs in tow.

Dungavel is a detention center, formerly a prison, infamous for its “family unit.” Thus, children and entire families have been detained there, some families for a whole year. The scheduled protests frightened the state into removing all of the inmates of the center, so the inmates could not hear our expressions of solidarity and outrage against their imprisonment.
The organizers noted the extreme contradictions of the “Make Poverty History” claims by people like Tony Blair, Jack Straw, and Charles Clark, while at the same time sending human rights activists back to despotic regimes which will most likely torture, jail, or kill these activists. On the very day of the protest, a Nigerian student activist was scheduled to be forcibly and involuntarily returned to the country from which he fled on a 10 p.m. Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow. The irony was made apparent as billionaire Virgin Airlines owner Richard Branson was in Scotland at that very same time, speaking out about injustices against African nations and its people. There emerged a stark example of the very wealthy profiting from the misery of the poor who are valiantly struggling for basic human rights.
The diverse thousands of demonstrators that day and the human rights activist speakers helped to reveal the connections between these racist practices against immigrants, poverty across the globe, and war. That same spirit and message was able to be carried into the streets of Gleneagles the next day.
The protest at Dungavel was part of a series of events organized to expose the tyrannical practices of the G8 leaders, practices that create the very system that drags the rest of the world into extreme poverty and racist wars domestically and abroad.

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