Early Morning Vigils To Stop Dawn Raids
Statement from Unity, Monday 9 October 2006
Across Glasgow just before sun-rise something new is happening. Early in the morning friends and neighbours are gathering outside tower blocks in their local communities to mount vigils against dawn raids on asylum seeker families living there.
Last week in the early morning gloom, 100 people gathered outside Block 50 in Kingsway Court and managed to stop a dawn raid by immigration officials because the family were not at home - they had joined everyone else outside on the vigil.
The next day when the Immigration Enforcement Team arrived to detain Ceb Cohan and his family, neighbours and friends gathered outside his tower block to support him and to protest making it much, much harder for the immigration officials and police to take the family away.
One week later this tactic is being repeated across the city, in Kingsway, Cardonald, and Red Road, families have been coming together between 5.45 and 8.00 am to protect each other against the dawn raids. And Scottish neighbours and friends are joining in.
Instead of having to deal with just one family the police and dawn raid team find they now have to deal with maybe as many 150 people, meaning they need more police and they are met with protests rather than being able to sneak off with the family in their blue vans.
Already there are many political problems for the Home Office in Scotland. Today an emergency meeting is being held between the Home Office and the Scottish Executive to try and come up with a way of making the dawn raids more humane.
Whether this will work remains to be seen. But we too can make problems for the Home Office by joining together early in the morning for peaceful protests against the dawn raids.
- UNITY are calling for all asylum seekers in Glasgow to copy what has been happening.
- Talk with your neighbours and friends and arrange to meet with them outside your home between 5.45 and 8.00 in the morning.
- If the dawn raid vans arrive - find out where they are going and warn everyone you know
- Make a peaceful protest
- Call UNITY immediately on 0141 427 7992
Please make sure to keep together and keep SAFE! You will not be arrested by the police if you are making a protest about the dawn raid but if you try to stop the dawn raid or if you make too much noise or if you do anything that frightens anyone you may be arrested by the police and this could cause problems for your case.
Kinsgway, early on Monday 9 October
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