AN EMOTIONAL meeting of over 100 people in a Nottingham school celebrated a rare victory over David Blunkett and the Home Office last week. An Iraqi family seeking asylum in Britain, Jamil and Sara Daoud, and their four children, Majid (age 11), Hoda (nine), Mostafa (six) and Marwa (four), have beaten back a threat of deportation and are back in Nottingham.
On 16 August at 7am they were dragged off by the authorities and banged up behind the barbed wire of Harmondsworth Detention Centre near Heathrow. A determined and sustained campaign got them back again.
The campaign involved people from Nottingham Refugee Forum, Ecoworks, Hyson Green Play group, Chasewood Baptist Church, and Unison, as well as Sycamore School.
The campaign has staged demonstrations outside their empty house in St Anns, petitioned Beverley Hughes at the Home Office, run stalls in Nottingham Market Square, and lobbied the local MPs. It is a major victory getting anybody back from Harmondsworth. But the threat of deportation has not been lifted.
EDUCATION workers lobbied home secretary David Blunkett's Sheffield surgery last week. The protest was against plans to educate refugees' children in detention centres.
A petition was handed in which had been signed by 160 teachers, learning mentors and classroom assistants.