Refugee rights and anti racist campaigners took to the streets of Sheffield on Saturday 3 October to protest against the inhuman treatment of asylum seekers by the authorities in Britain.
In particular they wanted to highlight the policy of locking up asylum seekers, sometimes for long periods, in detention centres — in some cases along with their young children. Over 100 people marched from Sheffield City Hall to the Peace Gardens to call for asylum seekers to be given the right to work and for an end to deportations to war zones.
Amongst those on the protest were:
• Iraqi Kurds who have been threatened with removal to Iraq;
• Annociate Nimpagaritse, a young woman who fled violence in Burundi, recently released from a detention centre. Annociate hopes to train as a nurse but is not allowed to work.
• Claude Ndeh, a teacher from Cameroon, who was taken into detention with his three young children who were born in the UK and released following support from campaigners in Sheffield. Two of his children have the sickle cell anaemia.
• Aman Ali, a young man from Afghanistan who recently won the right to stay in Britain, spoke from his wheelchair — he was paralysed after an accident on a building site after he was made destitute.
The protest was organised by the Sheffield Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers.