This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
IMMIGRATION officers were forced to release a man they had arrested after their van was surrounded by an angry crowd demanding they let him go.
About 200 people mobilised in Peckham in south-east London on Saturday as word spread that a Nigerian man was being arrested to face potential deportation for allegedly overstaying his visa.
Chanting “Let him go!” and “People power!” the crowd prevented the van from being driven off.
Police were called but failed to break up the crowd.
The action by the community is a repeat of a local mobilisation in Glasgow in May 2021, when hundreds of residents prevented immigration officers from taking away a man they had arrested.
In Saturday’s incident, the van was blockaded for more than three hours before the man was released.
It is understood that a call for support for the arrested man was made on social media.
Eleanor Janega, from south-east London, said: “We were alerted that there was an immigration raid in process so locals came down to block it.
“We had been sitting here blocking the van and having ice lollies. They brought more police in and tried to break through the crowd by pushing us. We all sat down.”
Labour councillor Reginald Popoola said that people had “encircled the van peacefully.”
When the man was released, Mr Popoola said: “He’s being released, peaceful protest is powerful.”
A woman from Stand Up to Racism named Nicola said: “Police tried to arrest a number of activists at the front, but they were held onto by others who were also sitting down and the police gave up.
“And finally, after a lot of protest, the police announced that they were going to release him and it took, I don’t know, about half an hour for them to actually open the doors so we all stayed and called for this to happen quickly.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers attended and found a van was being prevented from leaving the location.
“One man has been arrested by immigration enforcement officers for immigration offences.”
Saturday’s incident comes as the government faces criticism for its proposed deportation of refugees and asylum-seekers to Rwanda.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.