In the year and a bit since the iconic resistance that stopped an immigration raid in Glasgow’s Kenmure Street, mass resistance to raids seems to have spread, with Edinburgh, Dalston and Peckham being three recent examples.
This week, it was the turn of Leeds and Manchester to shut down immigration raids. Leeds Anti Raids Action have published a report of the resistance that took place on Wednesday 10th August:
“CW: suicide & violence
We were made aware of a vulnerable individual and victim of sexual violence who had been a victim of a dawn raid. (FYI a dawn raid is one of the terror tactics used by the Home Office and is when ICE arrive in the early hours and break into people’s home with the intention of detaining and deporting them.)
On the arrival of 6 enforcement officers, she made a very serious suicide attempt. Her body was held down by the weight of several male officers. She was taken to LGI… followed by ICE. Despite her severe injuries, ICE officers remained with her all day in the hospital. Despite seeing her all day in physical and emotional turmoil they insisted once she was discharged, she was to be taken to immigration detention.
We knew we had a chance to prevent her from being taken.
From the point we eventually spotted the enforcement van driving toward LGI, it all happened very fast. A few of us arrived as soon as we could and found the van parked up with the engine running…
What transpired was 4 of us being physically assaulted by NHS security staff and a ‘helpful’ member of the public (“they’re just doing their job “🙄😤 )
However, we persisted. We would not give up and they knew it.
The van was forced to leave and an amazing display of solidarity congregated outside LGI Jubilee Wing. When the individual was discharged, she was being walked to a car and reassured us she was now going to be taken home and not to immigration detention as they had been insisting all day in the hospital. We were able to confirm her safe return with her worker. She has asked to extend her gratitude to all those who came out to support.
We’ve said it many times before and we will say it again:
All we have is each other.
No one is illegal!”
For anyone in the Leeds area who wants to get involved in this kind of organising, on Saturday 3rd September the group will be holding a free workshop on how to resist immigration raids, followed by a fundraiser gig in the evening.
On the evening of Friday 12th August, an alert went out that immigration enforcement officers had been seen entering a restaurant in Chorlton, South Manchester. Several groups, including Manchester Anti-Raids, quickly mobilised to get the word out and a growing number of locals came down to block the raid and surround the van. The intended targets of the raid were able to leave and go home, and after a standoff that lasted until around nine o’clock, the immigration officers left without managing to capture anyone.