Kenmure Street protest: Neighbours organise peaceful vigil to show Home Office they are a 'strong community' who just want to 'protect' each other

Neighbours on Kenmure Street in Glasgow have organised a ‘Covid-19-safe protest’ to take place on Saturday following the wave of community support after the Home Office attempted to deport two residents on Thursday.

More than 200 demonstrators gathered on Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, on Thursday morning after UK Border Force officials apparently tried to deport two men who lived in a property on the street.

Scenes from the street quickly went viral as people banded together to block the Home Office van from driving off.

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One man even crawled under the van as part of the efforts.

Now one resident has taken it upon themselves to organise a peaceful vigil – from 12pm-1pm on Saturday, May 15 – to emphasise that they were not a “mob”.

A note was posted through other residents' doors on Friday morning informing them of the plan, and encouraging them to join in to send “the strongest message possible”.

One neighbour – who joined in the protest on Thursday – shared the note on Twitter and told the Scotsman that he is definitely going to join in.

He said: “I think it's a great idea. It's a really strong community here and I think people will want to keep that message going.

The vigil is going to be held between 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, May 15.

“People were determined to keep it peaceful yesterday, the fact was that it wasn't a ‘mob’ but a genuine community protest was shown by how quickly people dispersed yesterday."

He added that it will be important for everyone to stick to the coronavirus restrictions.

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The note begins: “Friends and neighbours of Kenmure Street,

Scots residents block immigration van amid 'stand off' over Home Office raid in Glasgow.

“Many of us will never have been prouder to live here. But we need to keep showing the Home Office that they can't get away with inhumane policies of dawn raids and forcibly removing families from their homes.

"We need to show them that we are simply a strong community of ordinary people, who just want to protect our neighbours and friends peacefully.”

It goes on to ask people to stand outside of their stairwells on Kenmure Street at 12pm for an hour on May 15 for a Covid-19-safe vigil.

The organiser, who remained anonymous, added that “it would be great to have folk from every stairwell out to send the strongest message possible.”

The two men were released from the back of an Immigration Enforcement van accompanied by lawyer Aamer Anwar and Mohammad Asif, director of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, in Kenmure Street.

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Police were called to the Glasgow street where protesters were trying to prevent immigration officers from removing people from a property. (Picture credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
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