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Home Office deportation attempt in Pollokshields, Glasgow

Posted on May 17, 2021

An early morning raid by The Home Office Immigration Enforcement on one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar is thwarted by the Pollokshields community in Glasgow.

Soon after the raid began locals spilled onto Kenmure Street to prevent the immigration van from taking the two men away. A local anonymous resident known as “Van Man” raced to the scene and quickly crawled under the van to prevent it from moving. Locals quickly arrived to help out, some sitting down on the road in front of the van. Inside the van were two local residents living in the Southside of Glasgow – the most ethnically diverse area of Scotland. Over the course of the next few hours residents from all over Glasgow came to give support to the two men and help prevent them being taken away. A tense stand-off ensued, mounted officers and even riot police stood by in the backstreets ready to pounce. Eventually though after an eight hour wait and with pressure mounting from an ever increasing crowd, politicians and asylum rights activists the two Indian nationals were released back into their community.

Rejection of dawn raids in Glasgow goes back a long time but this event was also a response of the result of several tragedies that have recently affected the city’s asylum seekers, including their relocation to cramped hotel rooms during the Covid pandemic, the Park Inn stabbings and the death of Mercy Baguma. In 2018 The city formed an organisation called the No Evictions Network in response to the widely condemned lock-change policy carried out by the then Home Office housing provider Serco.

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