Protestors outside the Radisson Hotel
Tony McNulty's visit to Glasgow
Images copyright Gareth Harper. Strictly no unauthorised commercial use.
McNulty was in Glasgow on Monday 27 March to sign a 'new deal' in the way deportations are handled. However the Home Office at the same time states that it sees no need to change the use of 'Dawn Raids' or the way in which police and immigration officers conduct their operations. i.e kicking in asylum seekers doors at 5 in the morning will continue.
These very practises were condemned by our own first minister Jack McConnell stated on the 23rd of September 2003 "From public bodies to children's organisations to school friends, there is recognition that these scandalous immigration practices are causing trauma and distress, and blatantly disregard children's rights. When Scottish society expresses such profound concern, it is right to expect the Scottish Parliament to do likewise"
Tony was met by a small number of demonstrators outside the Radisson Hotel in the morning. Another group of around 100 protestors awaited him at the City Chambers. However it was all too much for him, and he tried to sneak away via the side entrance.
In a statement earlier on Monday to 'The Herald' Mr. McNulty said:
"It is not in any way, shape or form, that removing families who have no right to be in the country early in the morning or otherwise is wrong. I think that remains a robust part of asylum policy."
It is six years since the first refugee families were dispersed to Glasgow whilst their asylum claims were processed. Many of those families have now lost their claims and though well settled in Glasgow communities are being torn from their homes by 'Snatch Squads'. Taken to Dungavel IRC in Scotland for onward transportation to Yarl's Wood IRC in England to await forced deportation.
Refugees in Glasgow spend the entire week dreading the day when they must sign at the Immigration Reporting Centre in Brand Street because they fear arrest. Many refugee children as well as their parents are developing serious psychological illnesses as a result. Sometimes these children have spent their whole lives here. There are little children in Glasgow sitting with letters from Mr. McNulty's ministry addressed to them individually, telling them they are liable to detention.
"Yes, people do wear stab vests and other things for protection but we don't drag children from their beds, we don't send 20 people there when seven or eight will do." - Tony McNulty
Mr McNulty criticised campaigners protesting in Glasgow on Monday for wrongly seeking to "offer hope where there is no hope".
Tony is heckled as he leaves the Radisson
Tony Leaves the Radisson
A crowd awaits him at the City Chambers
Sandra White MSP outside the City Chambers
Tony's attempt to sneak off unobserved from the City Chambers