Tag Archives: Napier

As the Home Office ships more people into concentration camp, join the fight to close Napier Barracks for good

Napier barracks: a journalist was arrested for taking photographs of a protest against conditions in the camp in January – not for taking part, but for embarrassing the Tory government that forces people to live in such inhumane, unhygienic conditions.

It’s scandalous – isn’t it? – that after being forced to empty the notorious Napier Barracks concentration camp for refugees, the Tory government is planning to fill it up again.

The camp, which housed around 400 people in homicidally cramped conditions (during the Covid-19 lockdowns, remember) in which 28 people were forced to share dormitories, was cleared after half its residents contracted the virus.

As an observer, This Writer can only conclude that this was the intention. Why else would Priti Patel put asylum-seekers in such unsuitable accommodation? Remember: other possibilities were available but ignored.

Independent inspectors have reported that the former barracks in Kent is unfit to house anybody at all, pronouncing it “filty” and “impoverished”.

According to The Guardian, the Home Office has absolutely no problem with inflicting more suffering on anybody unfortunate enough to be sent to the Napier site:

“We secured permission to use Napier barracks for 12 months and while pressure on the asylum system remains will continue to make use of the site.”

Take particular notice of the wording: “While pressure on the asylum system remains [we] will continue to make use of the site.”

It indicates that SNP MP Stuart McDonald was right when he said:

“That choice is a political one.

“The whole Home Office machine is hell-bent on ensuring life for people seeking refuge is as miserable as possible in the hope it will put off others from applying for refugee status.”

It has been said before but it is well worth reminding everyone that Home Secretary Priti Patel’s parents fled persecution by Idi Amin in Uganda to settle in the UK – and, to the best of our knowledge, they didn’t have to live in a dehumanising concentration camp.

Now she is very deliberately doing her very best to prevent anybody in a similar position today from doing the same.

In so doing, she sets herself up as a prime example of the selfishness and inhumanity of the current Conservative government – which is fascist in all but name.

Campaigning site 38 Degrees has launched a petition calling on the government to remember its humanity, if not its sanity, close the camp and find humane accommodation for the people being sent there. Already it has accumulated more than 77,000 signatures.

Yours will help change Patel’s mind. Please sign by visiting the petition page here.

Source: Home Office to send more asylum seekers to ‘unsuitable’ Napier barracks | Home Office | The Guardian

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Journalist arrest after Kent refugee camp protest shows how the Tories put down dissent

Napier barracks: I believe this is one of the images that led to the police arresting Andy Aitchison. But if he was behind a camera, how could he have been carrying out criminal damage?

Whoever would have predicted that the United Kingdom would descend to this?

The Conservative government, under xenophobic Home Secretary Priti Patel, has opened a series of concentration camps where they have dumped hundreds of asylum-seekers.

I wrote about them in December last year.

The camps have inadequate and poorly cooked food, no privacy, and inadequate shower and toilet facilities.

Camp residents are unable to socially distance, or to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

They have to sleep in dormitories of up to 28 people – which is probably why more than 100 people at the Napier Barracks camp in Kent have contracted the virus in the last two weeks.

The Home Office reaction was to blame people living in the camp, saying residents (inmates would be a better word) refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules that they could not have followed because of the conditions forced on them by the Home Office.

Conditions there led to activists protesting outside the site on Thursday morning, where they allegedly threw buckets of food colouring, water and shampoo or conditioner – fake blood – at the gate and on the ground in front of the gate.

Demonstrators had signs reading: “Close Napier now” and “Priti Patel: there will be blood on your hands”.

Freelance photographer Andy Aitchison attended and took photographs, some of which appeared in local press reports of the protest.

Around six hours after the protest, matters took a sinister turn when police arrived at Mr Aitchison’s house and arrested him for criminal damage.

Really? Criminal damage? He took some photos of a demonstration that was embarrassing to the Conservative government and to Priti Patel and this arrest looks like suspicious use of the police for political purposes.

On Friday afternoon (January 29), a fire broke out in the camp – cause unknown. Fortunately Mr Aitchison can’t be blamed – one of his bail conditions is not to go to the camp.

Patel herself had the cheek to publish a statement accusing people at the barracks of vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

She actually told us that this behaviour was “deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country”:

No, Priti Patel. You are deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country. You have made us complicit in providing facilities of such poor quality that they actually endanger the lives of the people you force to live there.

This Writer thinks there should be an investigation into what is happening at Napier Barracks and any connection between that and Patel.

I think the use of the police to intimidate a photojournalist for doing his job must also be probed.

Sadly, I know the UK’s institutions are as corrupt as they come. No such investigations will happen and if there has been corrupt behaviour, those responsible will be protected. Over the last 40 years, it’s what we’ve all been voting for.

Source: ‘It’s censorship’: Journalist arrested after photographing protest outside controversial asylum camp | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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