People took to the streets of Easton in an act of defiance against the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration enforcement regime.
Photos: Thomas Katan
100 people took part in a spontaneous demonstration last night in an attempt to stop immigration officers detaining a worker from the Mini Mart on Chelsea Road, Easton.
What began as a Home Office raid on the Mini Mart quickly escalated to a full-blown blockade and standoff with up to 40 police officers in a scene that was at times tense, angry, and good humoured.
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Having detained the individual at about 11pm last night, the immigration officers found themselves facing a crowd of around 50 people chanting “let him out” and blocking the narrow road in Easton. The individual is understood to be a Pakistani national.
The Home Office van with the detainee inside was prevented from leaving when a man clambered on to the roof and declared to loud cheering and applause that he “wasn’t getting down until he [the detained individual] was let go”.
More police arrived to escort the van through the crowd but they were unable to safely bring the man down. The crowd also doubled in size as word spread to show solidarity with the detained man. Chants of “Deport Theresa May” and “No hostile environment in Easton” rang out as the clock edged past midnight.