Protest against dawn raids and child detention outside the UKBA offices in Glasgow

Glasgow-based Unity Centre had called for a public protest on Monday 21 Nov 2011 outside the UKBA offices at Brand Street (Glasgow) to protest against the recommencement of dawn raids in Glasgow and the continuing practice of child detention for immigration purposes in the UK.

You can watch a short video on the day-long protest on Noborder Scotland‘s youtube channel.

 

Early in the morning on Monday 21 November, a group of people used a tripod to block the vehicle entrance and three demonstrators locked to gates, shutting the vehicle entrance and preventing any ‘dawn raids’ that would have happened that morning. The action was carried out in response to a return to the bad old days of dawn raids on the streets of Glasgow — following several dawn raids on the homes of asylum seeker families in the past few months — and to the continued practice of detaining children.

In a dig at the UKBA’s attempt to justify their inhumane practices, one of those involved in the blockade said, “We have given them every chance to end this abhorrent treatment of families voluntarily. Unfortunately, they refused to take these opportunities, and our last resort is direct action “.

At 10am, a lively demonstration arrived at Brand Street, with participants from the No Borders Network, Peace & Justice Scotland, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, NCADC and the Govan & Craigton Integration Network as well as individuals registering their objection to dawn raids.

The demonstration continued all day, with police unable to remove the tripod, and ended at 5pm when the reporting centre closed for the night.

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Here is some background info provided by the Unity Centre:
Dawn Raids in Glasgow and the Detention of Children

2005: Widespread protests in Glasgow against the dawn raiding, detention and subsequent removal families seeking asylum. Dawn raids are comdemned by the Scottish Parliament.

2006: Local communities in Glasgow hold dawn vigils to protect their neighbours from being taken by UK Border Agency Staff, detained and deported.

2010: In response to continuing outcry from refugee action groups, UK coalition government, led by the Liberal Democrats, promise to end child detention.

Feb 2011: New Family Returns Process is launched, which is supposed to give those refused asylum two weeks to prepare for their removal, avoiding the use of force, handcuffs and dawn raids.

July 2011: Nick Clegg tells the UK Parliament that the detention of children is a moral outrage.

Nov 2011: Two young mothers and their children are detained in two separate dawn raids in Glasgow. The tactics are again condemned by members of the Scottish Parliament.

What you can do: Contact your MSPs and First Minister Alex Salmond Members of the Scottish Parliament have often voiced their condemnation of these practices, as have members of the Glasgow communities where asylum seekers live, and the wider Scottish public. Demand that the Scottish Government take this issue up with the UK Government.

Send an e-mail or go to an MSP surgery and make your view known. Find your MSPs here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx

Contact your MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; The UK Government promised to end child detention. They haven’t. In fact, they’ve just put back again the date by which they will do this. Demand that Nick Clegg keeps his promise to end child detention. Send an e-mail or go to you MPs surgery and make your views known. Find you MP here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

Contact the Children’s Minister Sarah Teather

Demand that the Children’s Minister respects the rights of ALL children, including asylum seeking families. Send an email to: teathers@parliament.uk