Brand Street Immigration Centre

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Joined: 11-10-04
Dec 7 2005 14:46
Brand Street Immigration Centre

Brand Street Immigration Centre near to Cessnock underground station is where all asylum seekers in Glasgow have to sign on weekly. It's also where the dawn raids are carried out from.

Asylum seekers are forced to bring their whole families including children and babies to the Immigration Centre when they sign on. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the pitiful amount of money they depend upon in order to survive as they are prohibited from working.

On arrival at the Immigration Centre the asylum seekers are not allowed to be accompanied inside by anyone including friends, legal representatives or MSPs and are taken into locked rooms in order to be processed.

During this time, lies are told by Immigration officials to trick the asylum seekers to sign voluntary return forms or to hand over their passports so that travel documents can be prepared prior to their forced deportation shortly afterwards. Immigration officials will take photographs of children born after their parents arrived in the UK so that new travel documents can be produced in preparation for deportaon.

Frequently, families, carrying only what they are wearing, are detained inside the Immigration centre and are not allowed to contact anyone. Then they're taken by the fleet of blacked out minibuses, always parked in readiness at the back of the Immigration Centre, to detention centres across the UK in jouneys, without food or water, often taking many hours. Parents are forced to wear handcuffs then frequently seperated from their children who travel in another van.

Last Saturday a well respected church minister, Pastor Daly from Red Road, Glasgow, and his wife and six children were taken in this way, leaving all of their personal possessions, papers, family photographs, behind in the small flat they had made their home. The car he'd used to drive his family to the Immigration Centre was left parked on the street outside, still with children's toys on the back seat. Friends, neighbours and parishoners of Pastor Daly did not find out what had happened until much, much later.

Pastor Daly and his family had been released from Dungavel earlier this year on a bail bond that was not due to run out until April next year. He was still in the middle of his legal fight to get asylum in Scotland. He and his family are expected to be flown to Angola on Friday.

Just after Pastor Daly and his family were detained, one of the security guards used by the Home Office to stop people accompanying asylum seekers into the Immigration Centre was charged by Strathclyde Police for threatening "to pluck the eyes out" of one of the small group of people who gather outside of the Brand Street centre every Saturday morning to show solidarity with the people forced to sign on there. It was not the first time such threats have been made.

As well as detaining people at Brand Street the Home Office have launched a vigorous campaign of raiding people's homes in the early hours of the morning - usually around 5.30 in the morning. Immigration officials and police officers raid a family's home and force children and adults into handcuffs and then into the blacked out vans waiting for them outside. The families are not allowed to contact anyone and not given much time to pack their meagre possessions.

During the raids children cry and wet themselves in fear, see their parents humiliated and manhandled and are not allowed to say goodbye to their friends and school mates. Often the children are being forced out of the UK where they have settled for three or four years to countries they do not have any memory of, cannot speak the language and know no one.

On Monday the Home Office announced an 'amnesty' on illegal immigrants so that more resources will be put into deporting those asylum seekers - those people who have put their faith in 'British decency' and are hoping to stay in the UK legally. The number of dawn raids and people being detained at the Brand Street Immigration Centre are expected to increase.

There have been several actions at Brand Street which have delayed or disrupted at least one dawn raid that we know about. More are expected in the future.

Every Saturday from 10am until about midday a group of us gather to show solidarity and support for the people forced to sign on at Brand Street.

On Saturday 17th December the Campaign to Welcome Refugees are calling for a demonstration outside of Brand Street from 10am

Other initiatives are also being planned - please get in touch with the glasgow no-borders network if you can help.

Joined: 16-07-05
Dec 7 2005 16:50

Thanks for that, is maybe good enough to be posted onto the page?

Joined: 11-10-04
Dec 8 2005 19:38

Glasgow No Borders Group meeting

Wednesday 14th December

7pm Saorsa Social Centre

No Borders Glasgow is a group of people working in solidarity with refugees and migrants and with other campaigning and action groups, fighting racist migration controls. We are committed to practical solidarity, mutual aid and direct action.

No one is illegal.

We'll be discussing practical ways to stop dawn raids and the campaign at Brand Street Immigration Centre.

Directions to Social Centre:

The Saorsa Centre is located at 674 Pollokshaws Road.

The nearest underground station is Bridge Street. Turn left out of the station onto Pollokshaws Road. Keep walking until you get to the MacDonalds.

Any bus going towards Eglington Toll (e.g. 38, 38A and 45) will take you there, just get just past the MuckDonalds and keep walking in the same direction.

Cross over the Calder Street junction and keep walking until you spot Flames Takeaway on the right-hand-side. The social centre is through the gated archway to the right of Flames. We're round the back and the entrance is to the right behind the big crate.