Fifteen people are currently standing trial for stopping a deportation flight from London Stansted Airport to Nigeria in March 2017. The group from End Deportations, Plane Stupid and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants surrounded the plane and prevented it from taking off. As a result 11 people remain the UK whilst their cases for asylum continue to be processed. Since the action, two of these would-be deportees have been granted the right to remain in the UK.
The group who stopped the plane have been charged with ‘terrorism’ offences and face up to life imprisonment if found guilty. A verdict from the jury trial is expected in early December 2018.
Statement from Reclaim the Power:
The UK’s detention and deportation systems are inhumane and barely legal. All actions to dismantle this systematic racism and injustice should be applauded and we send love and solidarity as they face disproportionate terrorism charges.
In the UK deportation flights mean families are torn apart. Many people deported on charter flights have lived in towns and cities across the UK for many years. They are ripped away from all they know, bundled onto secretive planes in the night, and forcefully sent to countries they barely know. Many will face persecution, harm or death when they arrive.
Reclaim the Power is a UK based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice. Whilst most of our actions have aimed to dismantle the fossil fuel industry and prevent climate breakdown, we recognise that millions of people around the world have already been displaced by its effects. As climate change worsens, more people will feel the real impacts of climate breakdown and resulting flooding, famine and resource conflict. Those seeking asylum will be met by the UK government’s “hostile environment”, further persecution and human rights abuses. An understanding of climate justice means standing against the racist border regimes that ignore the social, political and economic factors driving migration around the world.
Direct action has been an important tool of social change throughout history, but few actions have literally saved lives. We salute our friends for laying their bodies of the line to prevent the threat of injury or death for people facing deporation. In the same way our friends The Frack Free Three were given disproportionate sentences that were later dubbed ‘manifestly excessive’, the charges brought against the Stanstead 15 represent a threat to the right to protest. But we will not be silenced.
We will continue to resist these secretive and brutal systems, to expose the government’s involvement, and demand an end to deportation and detention in the UK.
Find out more about the Stansted 15 here.