Around 60 people attended a Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition public hearing last week held in response to the G20 policing and the arrest and detention of Pakistani students.
People heard evidence and discussed strengthening campaigns to defend civil liberties and halt the rise of Islamophobia.
The shock at the arrests of 12 Pakistani students in high profile police “terror’” raids, some in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, has led to anger.
Despite being released with no charges, 10 of the students are now facing deportation to Pakistan on grounds of national security.
Solicitor Robert Lizar is contesting their deportation order. He said, “This is a terrifying experience to go through. Apart from your legal adviser you can have no contact with the outside world.”
The meeting was attended by all the local councillors from Cheetham and Longsight wards, as well as Muslim representatives, people from the legal professions, trade unionists and anti-war campaigners.
Councillor Afsal Khan described how the arrests were carried out by armed police in a “military style while children played in the street.
“I have been told that 700 officers were working on this case, yet not a single person was charged.”
With Lord Carlisle conducting a review of the arrests of the Pakistani students we will present our findings to his legal team. We are determined to fight for justice for the men.