Anti-Deportation Protesters Block Immigration Van From Leaving Glasgow Street

Updated 17 May 2021: We begin with the Guardian article: Cruel, paranoid, failing: inside the Home Office, followed by articles regarding the successful Glasgow action yesterday in securing the release of two men from a Borders & Immigration van from Positive Action of Housing; and the BBC. There is also a more recent article about the dawn raid that was not witnessed.

Guardian Cruel, paranoid, failing: inside the Home Office

For the thousands of people who end up on the wrong side of the Home Office each year, there is often a sudden moment of disbelief. This can’t be happening, people tell themselves. They can’t do this, can they?

16 May 2021 The National: REVEALED: The Glasgow dawn raid the public did not witness

THIS is the story of a dawn raid that took place in Glasgow on Thursday. No, not the one that brought the world’s eyes onto a southside street, another one.

One that happened quickly, quietly and went almost unnoticed and saw one man claiming political asylum taken to a detention centre before the first protestors had surrounded the van holding chef Sumit Sehdev and mechanic Lakhvir Singh.

The Indian nationals were released to cheers after a day-long stand-off between Glaswegians, Police Scotland and UK immigration authorities.

But the Sunday National can today reveal that another Indian man was also picked up in a dawn raid that day. We’ve agreed not to use his name, but we’ve obtained testimony from him from within Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre, Scotland’s only immigration holding tank.

He has no criminal history in the UK, was in the process of submitting a fresh asylum claim and says he ran from political persecution in India.

He told how he was woken from his bed by five immigration officers at 8.30am, something that was “terrifying” and left him “shaking uncontrollably and struggling to speak” by the time he arrived at Home Office premises in the city en route to detention in Lanarkshire.

Read more:

Updated 16 May 2021: Glasgow No Evictions Campaign:  Anyone can prevent a deportation! If you see an enforcement van in your area:1. Contact Unity Centre 0141 427 7992unitycentremedia@gmail.com2. Contact Glasgow No Evictions Campaign 07448 515094noevictionsnetwork@gmail.comOr by FB messenger3. Share the details on your own social media, without identifying the people being detained. If possible get along with your family and friends. Kenmure Street showed how important it is to have a quick response. Minutes count to stop a van leaving with our friends inside.

StatusNow4All signatory organisation Positive Action in Housing sends this report:

Glasgow says No Pasaran to the Hostile Environment

Hi there,

Glaswegians are in jubilant mood this morning after hundreds of protesters successfully resisted the U.K. Border Agency’s attempts to remove two asylum seekers from their neighbours and community. Those chants “these are our neighbours, let them go” were uplifting.

LakhSingh and Sumit Sehdevi are pictured above with lawyer Jelina Berlow Rahman. She attended the protest as a legal observer for our charity, and, has agreed to take up the men’s cases alongside Latta & Co Solicitors. Our extensive Humans of Glasgow Network came into its own by spreading the word. The power of digital.

Yesterday’s scenes were reminiscent of Mary Barbour’s rent strikes. Shockingly, they happened in the heart of Glasgow’s Muslim community, on Eid Ul Fitr, a Muslim holy festival to mark the end of Ramadhan. It was a small victory in the face of the Home Secretary’s “new plan for immigration”. This will see asylum seekers left on the streets as soon as they reach the U.K., human rights abuses hidden from public gaze with the setting up of  asylum reception centres, and the prospect of more deaths by drowning at sea because of a lack of safe and legal routes to refuge here.

We led a strong campaign to end dawn raids  16 years ago. So we have been here before. Early morning raids cannot happen without the cooperation of Police Scotland. If the devolved body declines to get involved, with the intervention of the Scottish Government,  the UK Border Agency will not be able to carry out these early morning raids and harrass our communities, including refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and those with NRPF or insecure status.

We are concerned about the prospect of further raids happening as part of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s “new plan for immigration”.

Finally, keep in touch with our casework and campaigns please see our website or like us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.  To give a very much needed regular or one off donation, visit  

Have a peaceful weekend,

Robina Qureshi

BBC: Police release men from immigration van blocking Glasgow street

Two men who were being detained in an immigration van which was surrounded by protesters have been released.

The move followed a standoff between police officers and protesters in Kenmure Street on Glasgow’s southside.

Early on Thursday people surrounded the Home Office vehicle believed to contain two Indian immigrants who had been removed from a flat.

Hundreds gathered in the area, with one man crawling under the van to prevent it from moving.

The Home Office said the men had been detained over “suspected immigration offences”.

Some of the protesters were heard shouting “let our neighbours go”.

Read more:

Earlier report: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is also the MSP for the area, said she was making “urgent inquiries” into the situation. “I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office, especially today in the heart of a community celebrating Eid,” she said. She said her office was ready to offer assistance to those detained. Humza Yousaf, the Scottish government’s justice secretary, said he had asked to speak to the home secretary to “make clear just how unacceptable this situation is”.

An immigration van has been surrounded by protesters to block it from leaving a Glasgow street. One man is lying under the vehicle, on Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, while hundreds of people sit around the van and stand on the road. Some of the protesters were heard shouting “let our neighbours go”. Police Scotland said a number of its officers had been called to the south side of the city to support the UK Border Agency. Pictures from the scene showed at least a dozen officers surrounding a Home Office van, marked “immigration enforcement”.

Read more: BBC News,