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Zita continued from the RCE NEWS newspaper

This is an article I wrote in 2016 about it for The Guardian newspaper:

It is now the children and grandchildren of the Windrush generation who are being targeted for these subsequent deportation flights including the one in November.

The vast majority of people booked onto the last two flights were not deported in the end because they were able to successfully argue their case and legally challenge the planned deportation - which shows that they should never have been targeted in the first place.

Yet again, amongst those being targeted are people who came to the UK as children. Previously there was an agreement between the Jamaican government and the UK government not to deport people who came to the UK as children, but yet again they are being targeted.

As with all the mass deportation flights over the past year, there is already a covid outbreak in at least one detention centre because of the lack of action to protect people and follow appropriate hygiene procedures including the provision of PPE.

The majority of people targeted are also parents so this means that children will again be living through the trauma of being torn apart from a parent.

The act of mass deportation is brutal and inhumane.

But this flight coincides with COP26. The people most impacted by the climate crisis and climate displacement are those in the global south, black and brown people, including those in the Caribbean region.

It is irresponsible to charter a flight which has capacity for 200 or more passengers with only 10 to 15 people onboard. contributing to global CO2 emissions.

In addition there is the issue of cost. The UK government spent almost 9 million pounds on deportation flights in 2020 including £500000 on flights that never took off.

Here's what you can do if you are impacted or want to take action to oppose:

1. If you or a family member or friend are or may be impacted by the Jamaica deportation flight, we urge you to get legal advice and representation as soon as possible - there is still a window of a few days, whereby someone not yet detained and in receipt of a removal notice, could be detained and booked on the flight. It leaves little time to organise legal representation once detained and in addition during the pandemic there have been issues of phone signals not working and limited or no access to computer rooms in detention centres essentially barring access to legal advice and support.

2. Write to your local MP and ask them to intervene. You can adapt our template letter here which we published to oppose the summer of deportation flights:

3. Share our posts on social media using the hashtags #Jamaica50 and #stoptheplane

4. Join the demo organised by Movement for Justice on 4th November at 3.30pm assembling outside the Jamaica High Commission - see image with this update or @followmfj on twitter.

5. These mass deportation flights are part of the ongoing hostile environment and we would also ask that you join us in opposing the Nationality and Borders Bill #killbordersbill

I have spoken about this Bill at a number of recent conferences - you can watch here - I am at approx 30 minutes in;

6. Please sign our joint petition opposing the government's policy to turn away small boats of refugees, the majority of whom are children by pushing them back out to sea here:

I would also like to thank everyone who donated to our crowdfunder to raise legal fees for Bruce Mpofu who was deported to Zimbabwe during the summer - Bruce came to the UK when he was nine years old.

Additional funds raised go towards Bruce's living costs and then our campaigning work on these issues.

Thank you for your support.

#jamaica50 #stoptheplane #climatecrisis #killbordersbill



Zita Holbourne

National Chair BARAC UK

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