New Home Office Statement on Kenmure Street Protest is Completely Inadequate and Fails to Address Community Concerns

To mark three months since the Kenmure Street protest and to highlight the lack of engagement from the Home Office, #NotAMob put out a press release that repeated the key issues and questions that local residents, our elected representatives and many other stakeholders have raised following the dawn raid in May.

Holyrood Magazine covered our story and sought a comment from the Home Office. An unnamed spokesperson said:

“We engaged extensively with the Scottish Government during the incident, including a ministerial call with the First Minister and also via senior officials.”

“The public expects us to remove those with no right to remain who do not leave voluntarily, and our new plan for immigration will speed up the removal of those who have entered the UK illegally.”

And that appears to be all they said.

Our clearly stated issues were not addressed. There was no comment on the planning of the raid and how it came to take place in a COVID hot-spot, when many in the community were celebrating Eid al-Fitr. There was no consideration of the effects on the community. They didn’t address how a peaceful protest came to be described as a “mob”.

The claim that they engaged properly with the Scottish Government during the protest has been contradicted by politicians, including Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok.

While Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf said he believed the Home Office’s actions were “Deliberately provocative”. He evidenced this during a podcast interview with the editor of Holyrood Magazine, Mandy Rhodes, saying he spoke to an individual at the Home Office who told him, “We had a sense that it would provoke some kind of reaction…that there would be protest”.

Listen to Podcast:

This is extremely concerning. In the context of COVID, it is a scandal.

After months of getting no response, we have now challenged the Home Secretary to visit Pollokshields and meet with residents, local organisations and elected representatives to respond to the many concerns that have been raised by the Home Office’s enforcement action. These are summarised in our press release.

How You Can Help

We are #NotAMob – just a community.

And with your help, we are a community that will get answers.

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