Brand Street office blockaded

BLOCKADE OF BRAND STREET IMMIGRATION OFFICE, IBROX GLASGOW – NO DAWN RAIDS TODAY

Statement from Robina Qureshi
Wednesday 14 December 2005

The Immigration Office at Festival Court, Brand Street, Ibrox, Glasgow was blockaded since 5 am at the gates so preventing any immigration snatch squads leaving Brand street to drag Scottish asylum families from their beds. The thirty two protesters include OAPs, refugees, Church representatives, Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor, Paddy Joe Hill, Peter Mullan, Davy Mckay, Alice Sheridan, Reverend David McLachlan, Reverend Brian Owen and others. This is understood to be the third effective shutdown of Brand street immigration office, so preventing any dawn raids taking place.

Further information, call Robina Qureshi on 07773321727

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Brand Street immigration office is where immigration vans leave to carry out ‘dawn raids’ and remove Scottish asylum families without warning while their neighbours and community are asleep. The vans then bring families back to brand street, photograph, finger print every family member and then take them hundreds of miles away to Yarls wood Removal Centre. The offices are also where asylum seekers are forced to report weekly with their children, regardless of their ill health or the weather. Parents are often forced to take several buses to get to Brand Street, having to rush their children, and feeling extremely anxious to the point of being ill the day before, because families don’t know what is going to happen to them. Positive Action in Housing have also received testimonies from families stating that they are expected to sign forms without knowing fully what they are. When families have asked if this is for deportation we have received anecdotal evidence from families that the immigration offices have informed them that “no this is to check your nationality or that you are Muslim”.
  2. Positive Action in Housing is a Scottish wide anti-racist organisation working with communities and others to enable everyone to have an equal chance to live in good quality, affordable and safe homes, free from discrimination and the fear of racial harassment and violence. Since 1995, we have taken a centre stage role in challenging racism and supporting the human right of everyone to live in a safe home and neighbourhood. Then, we were fighting the legacy of years of discrimination in housing against immigrant communities. We still are. Today that fight has shifted to challenging the forced dispersal, segregation, imprisonment and destitution of refugee communities. Our work is not just about housing discrimination; it is also about human rights or the abuse of it by a country that is supposed to champion civil liberties, democracy and freedom. We operate the only accommodation service for asylum seekers made destitute after being evicted from Council, YMCA and SRC emergency accommodation.
  3. Log onto www.paih.org to find out about our work, get involved or make a donation. See also www.closedungavelnow.com