Socialist Worker

Protest at Scottish parliament to defend refugees

by Margaret Woods, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees
Issue No. 2025

Immigration minister Liam Byrne visited Scotland last week to calm controversy over dawn raids and deportations of refugees in Glasgow.

Eighty refugees and supporters travelled to the parliament in Edinburgh to protest and hold a press conference inside, with the help of seven MSPs from Labour, SNP, Green, SSP and Solidarity.

The protest was organised by the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees. We then travelled to Glasgow to join a demonstration where more than 100 of us blocked Byrne’s exit for half an hour.

Early morning vigils in Scotstoun have turned back home office vans and, across the city, local defence committees are forming, comprising friends, neighbours, and refugees as well as church groups and community projects.

Deportations have been stopped and people bailed back to their homes.

One thousand families in Glasgow face deportation. Byrne offered mainly a rehash of previous ideas, with a statement that dawn raids and deportations will continue.

Local people say this is unacceptable and want an immediate amnesty for their neighbours who fled dangerous regimes.

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Sat 4 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2025
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