Socialist Worker

Glasgow asylum seekers face eviction on a ‘mass scale’ at the hands of Serco

Issue No. 2670

Campaigners are fighting to defend asylum seekers from eviction in Glasgow

Campaigners are fighting to defend asylum seekers from eviction in Glasgow (Pic: Living Rent Glasgow/Facebook)

Private landlord Serco could begin evicting some 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow as early as this week.

At least five people have already been made homeless since last month.

Sabir Zazai, CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council, said, “We are now facing a significant humanitarian crisis in Glasgow.

“We expect Serco and the Home Office to begin evicting people on a mass scale in a matter of days, despite ongoing legal proceedings.

“The stark truth is there is nowhere safe, dignified and appropriate for victims to go, and Serco and the Home Office know that.”

Bosses at Serco have been trying to empty the stock before new landlord the Mears Group takes over this month. They provide housing for asylum seekers on a contract to the Home Office.

The Glasgow Sheriff Court temporarily blocked a further 100 evictions on Friday of last week.

Lawyers argue that Serco’s strategy of sending letters to tenants informing them that their locks will be changed isn’t lawful. They say that landlords require a court order to evict someone under Scottish law.

The ruling from the Ali vs Serco and the Home Office court case will decide whether lock change notices are unlawful.

Activists protested outside the court in Edinburgh as the case was heard last Wednesday.

Racism from Johnson led to more Islamophobic attacks

Racist remarks by Boris Johnson led to a “surge in anti-Muslim attacks”, according to the charity Tell Mama.

Johnson wrote that Muslim women who wear the burqa look like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” in the Daily Telegraph in August 2018.

In the week after the column, attacks on Muslims shot up by 375 percent—from eight the previous week to 38. And 22 of those incidents involved hate directed at Muslim women who wear a face veil.

The Tell Mama survey found that there were two significant spikes in Islamophobic attacks in 2018.

One was during the “Punish a Muslim Day” at the beginning of April.

This was after racist letters were sent to public bodies inciting violence against Muslims.

But the one following Johnson’s article was more significant.

Climate activist reported to Prevent programme

A retired doctor was reported to the “Prevent” programme for taking part in the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests.

Prevent forces public sector workers to spy on colleagues and service users for signs of “radicalisation”.

Lyn Jenkins, 69, was reported to Prevent by his NHS Trust after he sought help for his claustrophobia, fearing he would have a panic attack if arrested.

It shows terror laws are a threat to everyone’s civil liberties.

But the overwhelming majority of people targeted are Muslims, not white left wingers.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.