Bristol mutual aid group Base and Roses are raising money for asylum seekers currently housed in Penally Camp in Wales. Please read their appeal and donate here: www.gofundme.com/f/support-penally-asylum-seekers
We are raising £3,300 for the people seeking asylum who are forcibly placed in disused army barracks in Penally, South Wales. We need your help to get each person access to technology. The money will be spent on headphones and phones.
Over 200 people seeking asylum have been placed in the disused barracks of Penally since September 2020 by the Home Office. The residents are given inadequate food and access to hand sanitizer and soap, have no possibility for social distancing inside, and they face harassment from the far-right. Two residents have received emergency medical attention since December, one after going on hunger strike against the camp’s conditions. Seeking asylum is not a crime and the government have a legal duty to provide a basic standard of accommodation.
A member of CROP, the self organised union Camp Residents of Penally, says:
“We are not terrorists; We came here to the UK seeking refuge that we didn’t have in our home countries. Being accommodated inside the barracks is inappropriate to people who faced torturing, trafficking, war, brutality from police and other militia groups.
Please we ask you to treat us as human beings, we’re suffering inside due to flashbacks from the history combined with the awful present experiences, our mental health is deteriorating, lack of sleep, continuous nightmares, and mostly depression. We’re suffering with the fact that there are more than 100,000 deaths in the UK due to COVID-19. Please we are not asking for fancy houses, just a room to at least end our worries about catching the virus and dying. We want an opportunity to start building up our personalities, learn English language without fearing when we’ll be moved to another accommodation.”
In 2021, having access to a phone or the ability to call your friends or family is something that everyone expects. People seeking asylum deserve the same access to these basic resources as everyone else. During a pandemic this need is even more present – knowing how your loved ones are coping and whether they’re alive and well, breaking your own isolation from the world at a time of collective alienation. This is a fundamental need, now more than ever.
This fundraiser is raising money for a pair of headphones for every resident and second hand phones. This gives the residents the possibility of privacy and blocking out the noisy communal environment. Any extra money raised will go to people in Napier barracks in Kent, also run by Clearsprings, which are detaining 400 people in similar awful conditions.
BASE & Roses is a mutual aid group in Bristol that distributes 160 food boxes every fortnight and 120 meals every week in Bristol to local people at their homes and on the streets. We have teamed up with Food Not Bombs Cardiff. The redistribution of resources to people who need them is fundamental to the meaning of solidarity. Respect for the dignity of all people means taking material action.
BASE & Roses November 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/BASEandRoses
Penally barracks – photos provided by CROP