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Refugees facing eviction in Glasgow

Message from Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees.

You may know that some 83 refugees in Glasgow have been told they will be evicted from their accommodation between now and the end of August by their housing provider, Ypeople, formerly YMCA. This is in preparation for the handover of housing to Serco, a multinational making dividends for its shareholders by running private prisons and detention centres among other public services. The refugees have been refused leave to remain even though most cannot return to their home countries because they are too dangerous. They include Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe etc. They will be put on the streets, without the right to work, with no state support whatsoever – utterly destitute.

You should also know that dawn raids of refugee families were stopped in Glasgow in 2006 after an upsurge of public revulsion against them inspired by the campaigning of the Glasgow Girls, a group of schoolchildren from Drumchapel, and the residents of the Kingsway flats in Scotstoun who linked arms in a picket line across the doors of a high rise to stop UKBA officers entering. Now, simultaneously with the evictions, the dawn raids have started again. Four families this spring have been invaded by police and UKBA officers while the children were getting ready for school.

The UKBA have even invaded a wedding and detained the groom before he could take his vows.

These are among the results of swingeing cuts in public expenditure accompanied by scapegoating of the vulnerable – the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, immigrants and refugees.

The Glasgow Presbytery of the Church of Scotland has voted by 300 to zero to condemn the evictions.

At its recent congress, the STUC unanimously supported an emergency motion from the FBU condemning the evictions, calling on Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to intervene and supporting a national demonstration in Glasgow, called by a number of campaigning organisations, now on June 16. Please find the motion attached. The numbers of victims and date of the demo have been since updated. Please find flyer attached.

As part of a greater fightback against cuts, scapegoating and racism, we urge you to support this demonstration, morally, financially and physically, in whatever way you can.

Let's show this government that the common people of Scotland and Britain are not the homogeneous mass of Sun reading, racist couch potatoes they think they are but a network of networks of activists and campaigners with a tradition of anti-racism and international solidarity going back to the Chartists and the anti-slavery campaigns. Let's build the biggest demonstration possible. As the chair of Glasgow Trades Council said at this year’s May Day Rally – if we let this happen, it will be shameful. See you on the 16th.