Protest held at Barnardo’s head office, Barkingside, over charity’s role at deportation centre
A group called No Borders held a protest at the head office of Barnardo’s in Barkingside today over the charity’s involvement with a deportation centre
The group protested over the charity’s provision of welfare and social care services at the UK Border Agency’s Cedars centre in Crawley, west Sussex.
The secure facility houses “pre-departure accommodation” for families about to be deported from the UK.
The protest started at about 1pm and ended at about 4.15pm.
An online report from Indymedia said activists had occupied the head office in Tanners Lane.
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A Barnardo’s spokesman said she was unable to go into details on negotiations with protesters.
The group handed out leaflets outside the building and held up a banner saying “Barnardo’s: ‘We believe in (locking up) children’”.
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One leaflet said: “We call on Barnardo’s to stop its involvement in this horrendous practice and stop detaining children now.”
Later in the afternoon, police officers made a barrier across the front entrance of the office.
The Barnardo’s spokesman said: “Barnardo’s involvement at Cedars goes back to our core purpose - to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the UK.
“We provide welfare and social care services to asylum-seeking families in the last hours or days before they leave the country, at what we recognise is a stressful time for them.
“We are not involved in the operational aspects of the pre-departure accommodation - these are the responsibility of UKBA.”
View our gallery of photos from the protest by clicking on the link above.
And if you were at the scene, send any details and your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.