- Created on 22 June 2015
Yesterday, activists and residents showed amazing resistance to an immigration raid in East Street Market.
Yesterday afternoon, an 'immigration enforcement' van was spotted on East Street and local residents and activists quickly gathered to try and prevent the raid from happening.
It transpired that this was the fifth time this week that the immigration came down to East Street but yesterday the local people weren't going to let them get away with it.
The fast growing crowd of local residents, housing and other activists and passers-by successfully blockaded the immigration van, by simply being in its way and using makeshift blocks (bins, cones etc). The victim, a man working in a local chip shop, was inside the van, which the residents pelted with rotten eggs and fruit from the market.
The people gathered, young and old, were shouting 'Let him out!' at the police and the immigration squad.
The stand-off went for over an hour. The immigration 'enforcers' called in local police back-up, which meant another six police and dogs vans, as well as a helicopter. Eventually, the TSG turned up in full riot gear and managed to, hours later, get the van, limping, with one or two flat tyres, out of the area. One protester was arrested, for 'a reason', and taken to Walworth Police station.
Yesterday's resistance was a deeply moving and inspiring example of a community united. Here's to much more of that kind of thing.
Photos by cockneyrebelx and social media.
Rabble: Immigration raid meets fierce resistance at East Street Market
Vice: Activists fought with riot-cops to try and save an immigrant from detention