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Sunday, 7 July, 2002, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Ribbon protest over asylum plan
Protest at Throckmorton
Residents are tying ribbons to Throckmorton's fences
Around 600 people gathered at a former RAF station to protest against plans to turn the site into a centre for asylum seekers.

The campaigners tied multi-coloured ribbons on the airfield gates to show their opposition to the proposed camp at Throckmorton in Worcestershire.

It is the second time villagers living near the airfield have demonstrated since learning it could be home to one of three purpose-built centres, each holding up to 750 people.

The other two are at RAF Newton, in Nottinghamshire, and at Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Location of three new centres
The plans have angered local residents
Rupert Segar, spokesman for the pressure group Protest at the Asylum Centre Throckmorton, (Pact) said: "We want to send a clear message to the Government that if it pursues this it will be forced to make an embarrassing U-turn.

"We want to show today that we have the ability to get large numbers of people out to protest whenever we want."

Mr Segar said the ribbons would be a visual testament to their opposition to the scheme.

"This is just the beginning and will provide the Government with a foretaste of what's to come in later months," said Mr Segar.

Ribbons symbolic

Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who attended the demonstration, said the ribbons were symbolic.

"They represented both the sadness and hopes of people in the area, sad that the Government thinks it can impose its will here and hope that they will become isolated and maybe persuaded to change their minds."

He said there were several small villages in the area which would be completely transformed if what he called "another village" was effectively built there.

The similar plan for RAF Newton near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, saw around 2,000 protesters take to the streets.


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19 May 02 | England
14 May 02 | England
01 Apr 02 | England
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