The energy that we’re bringing with us into June is that of Kenmure Street! On Thursday 13th May 2021, what started as five or six concerned citizens intervening in an immigration raid on Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, Glasgow, soon became hundreds of protestors surrounding an immigration van, stopping the police from moving, chanting ‘Leave our neighbours, let them go’.
This dawn raid coincided with Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan, in one of the most multicultural areas of the city and within the constituency of the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
One man secured himself to the underneath of the van for eight hours, lying on the floor in a t-shirt, so it couldn’t move. Neighbours and protestors wrapped him in towels and gave him hot water bottles so he could continue his brave act of solidarity.
Pinar Aksu, of Maryhill Integration Network said:
“They messed with the wrong city.This is a revolution of people coming together in solidarity for those who others have turned away from”
After hours of negotiation, the two men were released from the van into the custody of Aamer Anwar. The swift and amazing direct action shown by these protestors stopped these men from being taken.
The SNP Government have argued for Scotland to be in charge of their own immigration policy. Nicola Sturgeon tweeted:
“I am proud to represent a constituency and lead a country that welcomes and shows support to asylum seekers and refugees…To act in this way, in the heart of a Muslim community as they celebrated Eid, and in an area experiencing a Covid outbreak was a health and safety risk.Both as MSP and as FM, I will be demanding assurances from the UK government that they will never again create, through their actions, such a dangerous situation.”
The history of immigration can only be understood in context of historical and current acts of colonisation and oppression.We can change the future, we can tell this Government that the New Plan For Immigration is not how we want to treat people, it is not who we are.
We stand with all migrants in their struggle against the ‘Hostile Environment’ and we stand in solidarity with Glasgow.
Click here to read this month’s newsletter: Highly Skilled Migrants on Newsnight, Challenging Immigration Raids Network Event, #NoPalantir In Our NHS Campaign, UKLGIG becomes Rainbow Migration, Together With Refugees Camapign, The Unity Project’s Listening Campaign on NRPF, Event on Highly Skilled at the APPG for Race & Community plus loads more!