Protest at G4S HQ in West Crawley, photo by InMinds/Stop G4S campaign.
Activists occupy roof of G4S HQ
Media Release, Stop G4S (by email)
2 July 2012
Activists are staging a rooftop occupation at the headquarters of security multinational G4S near Crawley, West Sussex, in protest at what they claim are “illegal and criminal activities” in both the UK and Palestine/Israel.
Early this morning, two activists climbed on top of the multistory building and secured themselves in place using superglue and bike locks.
Two banners were seen hanging from the edge of the building. One read “G4S – Profiting from: Israeli Apartheid, Prison Slavery, Deadly Deportations”.
Another dozen protesters are surrounding the building on the ground, shouting slogan and holding anti-G4S placards.
G4S provides equipment to prisons inside Israel to which Palestinian political prisoners from occupied territory are transferred in violation of the Geneva Conventions, tortured and subjected to arbitrary detention.Under Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is forbidden to transfer Palestinian prisoners from occupied territories to prisons inside
Israel. Despite this, thousands of Palestinian prisoners are unlawfully held in prisons inside Israel that are supplied by G4S. Palestinian civil society has condemned G4S’ complicity with Israeli violations of international law and called for action against the company.
The company provides equipment to the Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners. A recent UK government backed delegation found that Israel is breaching at least six violations of the UN convention of the child in its treatment of child detainees.
More than 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners went on a mass hunger strike on 15th April this year. Mahmoud Sarsak ended his 92-day hunger strike on June 18 and is due to be released on 10 July, but three others remain on hunger strike in protest against their detention without trial. G4S also provides equipment to Israel in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Wall and to illegal settlements.
In the UK, G4S runs six private prisons at which 400 prisoners are forced to work 40 hours a week for as little as £2 a day.
The company also runs three immigration detention centres, where detainees have made repeated claims of abuse and assault.
Last year the company lost a multi-million contract with the UK Border Agency to deport refused migrants after 773 complaints of abuse were made against it and following the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan asylum seeker who died as a result of G4S security guards applying illegal restraint techniques.
Despite all this, G4S is being awarded a wide range of public service contracts, from taking over police forces and providing controversial workfare schemes and asylum accommodation on behalf of the government to providing all security at the London Olympics.
Today’s protest is the latest in a new, international campaign against the controversial company. On 7th June, more than 70 people demonstrated outside the G4S Annual General Meeting and handed shareholders an “Alternative Annual Report” detailing the company’s alleged violations of human rights and international law.
One of the rooftop protesters, Tom Hayes from the Boycott Israel Network, said:
UK businesses should not be profiting from the detention and mistreatment of children. Brutal systems of discrimination such as Israeli Apartheid are maintained because companies like G4S are willing to do business with them, in total disregard of the human consequences and of international law. G4S is an example of a business that cynically views the practices of such regimes as good for business.
Action must be taken to prevent corporate complicity with Israeli
violations of international law.
The other protester, Sean Flint from No Borders UK, said:
I wonder how many Jimmy Mubengas it will take to realise that companies
like G4S don’t care about people placed in their care, but are only concerned with maximising their profits, no matter what the human cost.
Awarding control of the police, justice and prison systems to a company with such a blatant disregard for basic human rights, as the government has shown its willingness to do, is truly frightening.
Activists will picket the 12 July meeting of the West Midlands Police Authority. G4S is bidding for a £1.5bn contract to run Police services in the West Midlands and Surrey.
Human Rights First! Stop the Corporate takeover of Policing services
Join the lobby of West Midlands Police Authority
By No to G4S blogspot
July 2, 2012
Lobby: At 10am on Thursday 12th July outside West Midlands Police HQ, Lloyd House in Birmingham City Centre.
On 12th July West Midlands Police Authority will meet to discuss how to take forward the privatisation programme of critical police services worth £1.5bn. West Midlands against Policing for Profit is opposed to this privatisation in principle and calls for the tendering to be cancelled.
The shortlisted companies include corporate giants KBR and G4S who between them have questionable human and labour rights records from Guantanamo Bay to Iraq, from Occupied Palestine and to the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.
If the procurement process continues after 12th July we are calling on the Police Authority to give full consideration to the human rights records of the companies bidding for the BPP contract. It can exclude companies from tendering on grounds of ‘grave professional misconduct’. We are calling on the Police Authority to rigorously examine the human rights records of these companies.
KBR, is a former subsidiary of Halliburton, and has had extensive contracts from the US Government to provide services to support the military occupation of Iraq. KBR’s subcontractors have allegedly engaged in human trafficking and the use forced labour to provide services for KBR in Iraq.
KBR is one of the companies that built the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The facility at Guantanamo was not only used to detain people without trial and to carry out interrogations with torture, the site itself was built in a manner designed to dehumanise and terrorise those held there.
In the UK, G4S has been the subject of 700 complaints over the treatment of asylum detainees of which 130 were upheld. G4S has been implicated in the deaths of a number of asylum seekers in its custody; in 2010 G4S lost a Home Office forcible deportation contract after the death of an Angolan deportee, Jimmy Mubenga, while being restrained on a flight back home. See the rest of this blog for further information on G4S’ shady human rights record.
G4S is also the subject of a global call for action by Palestinian civil society on the grounds it ‘helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.’
West Midlands Against Policing for Profit is asking people to support the lobby to oppose the corporations bidding to run these critical policing services. For more about this campaign click here