Bristol: around 100 people block road in solidarity with deportation victim

Around 100 people blocked a street in Bristol’s Easton neighbourhood trying to stop UK Border Agency deportation attempt last night. The stand-off, lasting through-out the night to the chants of “let him out”, “deport Theresa May”, “no hostile environment in Easton”, and “cops go home”, aimed at preventing the police from taking away and eventually deporting an Easton resident. The UK Border Agency van have been successfully blocked from leaving the area by protestors who came both on foot and in cars.

The UK Border Agency officers arrived to the area after apparently receiving a tip-off that one man, a local resident, and the Mini Mart worker, might be in the UK “illegally”. The news about the victims’ arrest quickly spread, and the local residents took a spontaneous direct action in hope to prevent him from being detained and deported. The border officers reacted with calling Bristol’s cops for assistance, however, this did not stop the impromptu protest and it carried on from about 10pm to 5am, when the “racist van” finally left the area. An attempt to clear the road by force was aborted by the police when people staged a sit-in protest. During the night, local residents shared tea and blankets brought from their homes, while some musicians performed.

According to some reports, the man has been left by the police in a van without water, food or toilet for the duration of the action. Eventually the cops managed to take him out of the area and he was reportedly taken to a police station. His fate right now is unknown, but he is supported by a lawyer.

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Image: still from video, Bristol Rising Tide