Glasgow – “Refugees welcome here”

Yesterday’s events in Glasgow were a milestone and a crossroads. We must seize this moment.

by Bella Sankey, Director of Detention Action

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It was inspiring to see so many people come together to protect someone in their community who was snatched up by this Government’s immigration enforcement – and moving to see such a peaceful, powerful and spontaneous display of solidarity.

The raid was yet another example of the “hostile environment” that we want to see dismantled. That it happened during Eid al-Fitr and in an area experiencing a COVID spike was spectacularly badly judged.

On the streets, the crowd chanted “refugees welcome here.” It is a reminder that the cruel policies of this Government do not have public support in many nations, cities and regions of our country.

We are a country of laws under the rule of law, but we have a sacred principle of policing by consent. If laws and practices are too inhumane they lose legitimacy – and that’s what happened in Glasgow yesterday.

These events pose very hard questions for this Government, and for Priti Patel, the Minister responsible. They have massively overreached over the past few decades and they may now be reaping the consequences.

Yesterday’s events were a milestone and a crossroads. We must seize this moment, be reinvigorated by it and recommit to continuing our campaigns for justice and human rights.