G4S is the UK's biggest private security company, with its government contracts alone worth over £600 million. Responsible for security services, managing detention centres, prisons, and 675 court and police station holding cells, G4S have also just been granted the £100 million contract for providing 10,000 security guards for the upcoming olympics.

Whilst G4S still seem to be government favourites, their record is far from spotless. The firm lost their previous 'forcible deportation' contract last September after receiving 773 complaints of abuse – both verbal and physical. The final straw came with the death of Jimmy Mubenga in October 2010, an Angolan asylum seeker who died as a result of his forced deportation by G4S guards. Two of the guards are on bail facing criminal charges, whilst G4S is still waiting to hear whether they are to face corporate manslaughter charges.

Now, asylum seekers in Yorkshire and Humberside are expected to accept this multi-national, money-hungry, security company as their landlords.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Golden Moment

Sometimes, jost sometimes we get good news and when it comes it is all the more satisfactory for being the product of joint efforts and hard work.  Those of us who target the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands have been actively promoting boycott divestment and sanctions on companies profiting from this occupation. G4s is one of the most notorious.  Thus it was with some surprise that when we went to Brussels to lobby on the EU-Israel treaty we discovered that G4S had the contract for security.  We made up our mind to challenge this and to demand that when their contract came up for renewal, it would be rejected.  It was a long uphill struggle but together with expert legal advice and with the support of sympathetic MEPs like Margarete Auken from the Danish Greens, and from activists throughout Europe, a contract which looked like a shoe in has been terminated.  We are now truly delighted with this.  So even the biggest sharks can sometimes get their come uppance.

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