13-15th June – TAKE ACTION AGAINST AIRPORT EXPANSION, IN SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE DETAINED IN THE HEATHROW DETENTION CENTRES, AND RESIST PLANS TO BUILD EUROPE’S LARGEST DETENTION CENTRE

Detention is racist. The climate crisis is a racist crisis.

End Heathrow Immigration Detention is calling on Mitie to cease its involvement with the UK Home Office and detention centres, and Heathrow to scrap plans for expanding the airport: to protect people and the climate. To add your voice to our campaign, we are asking you to spend 15 minutes doing the following actions between 13-15th June. Details can also be found on our facebook event.

Despite a recent win for campaigners when the High Court ruled existing expansion plans were illegal (as they failed to meet the Paris Climate Agreement), Heathrow is set to appeal the decision, and still aims to expand.

  • Listen to this testimony here from Mr B, who was formerly detained at one of the Heathrow Centres, and share around your networks across social media, to highlight why these centres must be abolished
  • Email senior staff at Mitie and Heathrow  – you can personalise our template emails (below), or write  your own. Together, we can fill their inboxes with our demands and let them know that profit made at the expense of people of colour must stop – No to airport expansion, no new detention centres.

Contact Mitie: CEO, Phil Bently: phil.bentley@mitie.com, and Managing Director, Mitie Care & Custody, Colin Dobell: colin.dobell@mitie.com

Contact Heathrow Airport Limited: Head of Community Relations Team, Elizabeth Beale: communityrelations@heathrow.com

[MITIE EMAIL TEMPLATE HERE]

[HEATHROW AIRPORT LTD. EMAIL HERE]

  • You can also Tweet @Mitie (click image icon) and @HeathrowAirport (click image icon) to let them know your thoughts.
  • Ask your friends to join the action:

Click on the icons to send a tweet , Facebook post and WhatsApp message

Background to action

Detention centres are inhumane and racist. Mitie, the company responsible for running multiple detention centres including Colnbrook and Harmondsworth near Heathrow, have been accused of many human rights abuses against detainees. Covid-19 is significantly more likely to rapidly spread inside, yet the healthcare provided is of poor quality and many detainees have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of severe illness. Detention centres facilitate the deportation of people whose whole lives are in the UK, who came here to flee violence and persecution, or who arrived here as children. Many people detained come from countries which suffered years under British colonialism. Detention centres are underpinned by the white supremacist idea of who does and does not have the right to live in the UK or who is allowed to be considered ‘British’.

The plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport involve building a new, ‘super’ detention centre, with a capacity larger than the two existing centres combined to replace the current two centres. 

Meanwhile, the environmental impacts of this project will be catastrophic. The airport is already one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in the UK even before the construction of a third runway. The expansion plans – including the chosen site for the replacement centre – will result in the destruction of a vast amount of green space in an area already blighted by airport activity. The climate crisis disproportionately impacts people from countries in the global south, despite them being the least responsible for this crisis. Many of these countries have suffered under colonialism and modern-day imperialism.

In the face of this, we need to make sure we platform the voices of those with lived experience and that we listen to their testimonies, and at the same time, commit ourselves to anti-racist action to build a world without detention in it.