Building resistance to mass deportations


Campaign against mass deportations to Iraq
Public forum
Saturday 7 November, London
12 noon – 5pm,
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

The Stop Deportation network is organising a public forum to build resistance to mass deportations.

  • Find out about the hidden reality of mass deportation flights
  • Legal and political challenges
  • Networking and building a UK-wide grassroots campaign against mass deportations
  • Strategies and tactics of resistance: protests, actions and more


Mass deportation flights are a new and urgent challenge to all those working for the right to freedom of movement for all. Many deportees have tried to stop or escape from these flights, some even self-harming in desperation. Outside, protests and actions are being organised in the UK, Europe and the destination countries.

Last Thursday, 15 October 2009, the UK Border Agency tried to deport by charter flight about 40 Iraqi refugees who had been refused sanctuary in the UK. However, on arrival at Baghdad airport it appears that Iraqi officials refused entry to most of those onboard. Only eight people were taken from the plane, and there are conflicting reports as to whether they left voluntarily or were forcibly removed.

Hunger Strike

Those returned to the UK are now imprisoned at Brook House detention centre and still under threat of deportation to the Iraq warzone. There are now reports that the returnees have gone on hunger strike, joined by others from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Algeria and Jamaica.

Campaign against deportations to Iraq

A campaign against these mass deportations has been launched. On Saturday a demonstration in London was organised by the Stop Deportation network, with another held on Monday. Stop Deportation points out that, within an already unjust system, mass deportation flights are not only inhumane but further limit refugees’ access to due legal process. Deportees and their representatives are not even told the date of the flight. On the day, they are woken up early in the morning and forced to switch off their phones so they are unable to instruct their solicitors to submit last-minute appeals. More details can be found in the Stop Deportation briefing.

NCADC called on supporters to make their feelings known to the airline involved – Air Italy. You did, and the airline responded: they will no longer take contracts for deportation flights for the UK Border Agency. A small victory, but the struggle continues.