St Albans walkers to raise awareness for indefinite detention at Gatwick Airport
- Credit: Archant
Volunteers are trekking 55 miles into London to stand in solidarity with refugees.
A large group of walkers are setting off from Fleetville Community Centre in July as part of the Refugee Tales project - an outreach program organised by the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and inspired by Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
The detainees group is a charity which provides support to people incarcerated indefinitely at Gatwick Airport.
Over five days, the hikers are walking from St Albans to Westminster via Hertford, Waltham Abbey, Chingford and Stoke Newington.
At each stop, there will be an evening event where professional writers, musicians and poets will share the true stories of immigrants detained at airports indefinitely.
Refugee Tales has worked with the University of Kent to secure top writers and stay true to Chaucer’s book, which is a collection of 24 stories written in middle English.
Co-founder of the walk, Mary Barrett, has been visiting detainees at Gatwick once a week for 20 years.
- 1 So why WAS police helicopter flying over St Albans last week?
- 2 Frustration and anger over St Albans school's change to hairstyle and uniform policy
- 3 Staying silent: the tight-lipped MP who refuses to answer controversial questions
- 4 Removing asbestos from Arena will cost £250,000
- 5 Wholefoods shop relocates to offer wider range of produce
- 6 'Don't touch my hair!' - tackling hair discrimination against black youngsters
- 7 10 filming locations of new Netflix series Stay Close
- 8 Patients required to continue wearing face coverings in healthcare settings
- 9 Local estate agent to sponsor Chelsea Flower Show garden
- 10 Revealed: Hertfordshire's most desirable villages
Mary said: “We are not saying people shouldn’t be detained or removed from this country if they are illegally here, we are just saying holding people without a time limit is very damaging for their minds and is very inefficient.”
She stressed Britain is the only country in the European Union where people are legally detained indefinitely.
“Many people who would consider themselves informed don’t know about it because it’s a well kept secret in this country - but we are trying to inform people and raise awareness.”
She added: “It’s changed a lot in 20 years, it’s a lot tougher now and that’s why we are trying to change the rules - it can’t go on for another 20 years.”
This is the fourth year running the fundraiser has taken place. Accommodation is provided for each night of the trip, and walkers can sign up for one night, the weekend, or the whole journey.
The walk starts on July 7. All the evening events are open to the public. Entry is free.
Book and find out more at refugeetales.org