"A group of us had become increasingly concerned about the way the government’s hostile environment policy
[a set of measures targeted towards undocumented people in the UK] is affecting all our lives, but particularly people of colour who are increasingly treated with suspicion in this country. We began meeting and discussing this and other issues – including the conditions in detention centres
and the fact that legal aid cuts make it difficult for people who are seeking asylum to have their case fully heard – and we asked ourselves what more we could do. We found out about charter deportation flights, which are particularly brutal. They were introduced in 2001 under New Labour and have been operating ever since, but most people don’t know they’re happening. If people knew about what really happens in the deportation and detention system in this country, they’d be horrified.