Every year feminists gather in massive numbers campaign against Yarl’s Wood. In 2015, nearly 4,000 people, many of whom have travelled thousands of miles to reach Britain are held in Yarl’s Wood detention center located in Bedfordshire. A key figure in the campaign against Yarl’s Wood is activist Anna Pichi. Pichi reveals the tribulations of inmates, with many risking the heart-breaking pain of being separated from their children. She adds, “Mabel Gawanas experienced this as a woman who has not seen her 7 year old daughter in almost two years.”
Anna Pichi, a migrant herself works hard to tell the stories of women like Gawanas. As an activist, force and fighter behind The Movement for Justice, Pichi is aiming to reveal experiences faced, her motivations behind joining this movement and why students must be involved.
Migrating from Italy 6 years ago, it was the hope for a brighter future which brought her to the U.K, as she believed it “is a place where people from different backgrounds live, study and work together.” Having trained to support autistic children, Pichi was now working towards an ESOL qualification. Meeting a classmate who was an asylum seeker, It was this friend who introduced her to The Movement for Justice, thus marking the beginning of her commitment to challenging xenophobia and racism. She soon realised that the U.K. is far from perfect, describing the hate crime she faced as an EU national.
The Movement for Justice as an organisation, Pichi states “aims to bring equality and freedom for all, with an approach of less words, more action”. In the hope of a better future, figures such as Anna Pichi “find meaning within this organisation”. By revealing what happens behind closed doors in Yarl’s Wood, she believes “true change can occur.” As the main demographic, women are vulnerable to bad treatment which in the past has led to death.
As a migrant herself, Anna has a deep connection towards the treatment refugees face whether in the context of Calais or Bedfordshire. At the center of the December demonstration, she repeats is an aim “to let refugees know that they are welcome”. “Youth play an integral role in shaping the world of the future…the dream is for students to be part of this mission.”
On November 17th, Anna Pichi alongside The Movement for Justice will be attending The University of Greenwich to further their political campaign against Yarls Wood.