How people power on Glasgow's streets forced a Home Office immigration U-turn

14 Mai, 2021, 20:09 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • The protest in Kenmure Street

One of the men in the van, Lakhvir Singh, 34, spoke to the PA news agency through a translator.

Crowds surrounded a Border Force van with the two Muslim men inside and one person lay underneath it, prompting Nicola Sturgeon to accuse the Home Office of creating "a unsafe and unacceptable situation".

Around 200 protesters were at the scene, with chants of "Leave our neighbours, let them go" and "Cops go home" being heard as a ring of police stood around the van.

Police were first called to Kenmure Street in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, at about 10 a.m. where the Immigration Enforcement van with the men in it was surrounded by protesters, including neighbors of the men.

It is understood neither of the men is Muslim.

The Home Office said in a statement that the men were detained "in relation to suspected immigration offences" and had been released on bail.

Police Scotland said the decision to finally release the men had been made "to protect the safety, public health and well-being" of all involved.

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"At around 9.30am immigration enforcement carried out a raid and we were taken to security in the van".

She added that although the protest was effectively stopping the men getting access to facilities, they did not agree with the alternative - the men going to an immigration detention centre. "To be honest, they don't give a damn about the lives of these people, but the people of Glasgow do", Aamer Anwar, a Pakistani-origin human rights lawyer, told ' ITV News'.

Mohammad Asif, director of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation - who himself fled Afghanistan back in 2000 - was one of the hundreds of neighbours peacefully protesting.

"We're here against the hostile environment created by the Tories and the British state".

"And it's on Eid you know ... the guys are not even allowed to pray". The same people who run from the British and American bombs put at the back of the van right now. "This was a cynical and provocative action by the home office to do it on the day of Eid". But it was the people here in Glasgow who decided their neighbours were not leaving today.

"The UK Government continues to tackle illegal migration in all its forms and our New Plan for Immigration will speed up the removal of those who have entered the UK illegally".

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