The Tories' plan for a mass deportation to Jamaica has been met by growing opposition.
Hundreds of people blocked Whitehall and the road outside parliament on Monday night, chanting, “No more charter flights—we want human rights.”
It was the second night of militant protest against plans for one of the first “charter flights” since the Windrush scandal of 2017.
As people chanted, news broke that the Court of Appeal had thrown up a barrier to the deportation of people held at Harmondsworth or Colnbrooke detention centres on the 6.30am flight. It ordered the Home Office not to remove anyone there “unless satisfied (they) had access to a functioning, non-O2 Sim card on or before February 3”.
The Detention Action charity argued that some detainees did not have access to legal advice because of problems with an O2 mast in the area.
Some people could still be removed.
This is a set back for the Tories, but they will doubtless try to push ahead with the deportations.
Christopher was one of the 50 people due to be deported from Harmondsworth—and still has the threat hanging over his head.
Margaret, Christopher’s partner, told Socialist Worker, “I won’t feel comfortable until I know what comes out of the decision.
“He can still be taken away every minute.
“What I want is Chris coming through the door and saying he his home. But what if he comes home and they try to put us through it again two years down the line?”
Chris told Socialist Worker he faces “death and nothing else” if the Tories manage to deport him. “I’m going to die if I go back, the same people who killed my father will kill me," he said.
“I have no relatives, no nothing in Jamaica.”
At least five people have been murdered following deportation to Jamaica.
Margaret, Christopher’s partner, told Socialist Worker, “He will be in a copper box by the road side,” if he is sent to Jamaica.
“I will never know where the body is to bury him.”
She said that she fears for his life inside Harmondsworth because he “has mental health issues and has been on suicide watch”.
Christopher says he was the victim of abuse and torture when he was a child and teenager in Jamaica.
“I witnessed my father killed—shot dead—at the age of seven,” he explained.
“The gang tried to kill me and shot me too.”
Christopher came to Britain on 6 April 2001 and was picked up by the authorities two months later.
“I was walking in Islington and police stopped me,” he said. “They ran my details and said the immigration want you.
“After that I tried to lodge a claim for asylum.”
As someone applying for asylum, Christopher’s life was in limbo by racist immigration rules.
“I couldn’t do nothing,” he said. “I couldn’t work, I couldn’t even open a bank account.
“All I could do is go to Croydon immigration centre three days a week to sign in with the Home Office—I didn’t even get a bus pass.”
Christopher stopped going to sign in with the Home Office because of his deteriorating health.
He was taken to the detention centre twice in that time and rejected.
“They tell you it’s for an interview and you get your hopes up,” he said. “But then they take you inside.”
Boris Johnson has tried to justify the flight by claiming that the people on it are “serious criminals”.
There should be no deportations—whether people have been convicted or crimes or not. Anti-racists must fight to stop deportation flights and tear down Britain’s racist immigration system.