On Monday, NCADC joined the Unity protest in Glasgow against the resumption of dawn raids on asylum-seeking families in the city. Unity had called the protest after two lone parent mothers were raided the week before, including Nigerian mum Funke Olubiyi and her five year old son Joseph, residents of Govan.
NCADC walked to the protest with refugees and volunteers from Govan and Craigton Integration Network, and supporters from No Borders North East, up from Newcastle for the day. At Brand Street we met our friends from Unity, Justice and Peace Scotland and Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees.
The protest had begun at 7am, when three activists chained themselves to the gates of the reporting centre, while one scaled a scaffolding tripod, blocking the gates and making sure that no dawn raid vans would leave the UKBA car park that day. They were soon joined by about 100 or so supporters, including many asylum seekers who spoke of the fear they feel every time they have to report, and now the fear of being raided at home.
There was music and drumming and singing of African and Scottish songs and hymns. After a couple of hours the three chained to the gates were removed, but the man on the tripod stayed in the air for an impressive 10 hours, finally coming down at 5 o'clock.
The point had been made, and the media coverage helped spread the word: people in Glasgow still believe that dragging mothers and children from their beds to detention and deportation is totally unacceptable. The practice was stopped in Glasgow in 2006, following a long campaign of protests, direct action, campaigning and lobbying. It appears that a new campaign is starting in the city.