SBS Opposes Immigration Raid in Southall
UKBA: RACIST AND DISCRIMINATORY
On 1 August 2013, a UKBA immigration enforcement vehicle was parked near our office. We were having a support group meeting at the time with women who use our centre.
We were all so enraged by it that we emerged from our building and followed the vehicles around Southall shouting “this is racist”. Many of the women have escaped domestic violence and have felt trapped by their immigration status to stay in abusive marriages.
Despite their need for anonymity, they felt that this attack on their right to live here had to be resisted. The Van moved off our street.
We later intercepted the vans when they parked outside a local shopping centre. UKBA Immigration enforcement officers barricaded the doors so that they could carry out a raid on the workers inside.
We stood outside and encouraged members of the public to shame the racist immigration policies. We shouted in English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Amharic, a demonstration of Southall’s rich history of multiculturalism and diversity.
This is a racist and arbitrary action that threatens the very fibre of our community.
We have been contacted today by organisations from across the nation, many expressing their solidarity for the right not to be racially profiled and discriminated against.
We would like to thank everyone who showed their support, particularly members of the public handing out water yesterday to SBS and the service users who inspire us every day to take action.