Three people are facing trial this October following an immigration raid on East St on June 21st 2015.
On this day, immigration officers seized a local man from the shop where he worked and forced him into the back of their van. Sick of seeing people snatched from our neighbourhoods and detained or deported (June 21st was the fifth raid on East St that week, although since then they’ve hardly stepped foot back in the area) and well aware of the abuses that would await him once in detention, a crowd of people of all ages who live and work locally gathered to protest against his removal.
Eventually and without warning, riot police violently attacked the crowd, knocking people to the ground and attacking them with dogs. The people of East St and the surrounding estates responded in a way that demonstrates the real meaning of the word solidarity and shows that immigration raids and police action such as this are an attack on us all.
At a time when whole estates are being demolished to make way for luxury flats, resulting in mass displacement of people from their homes and neighbourhoods, when people are snatched from their long established communities and deported, and when those whose skin-colour, bodies or behaviour do not conform to the criteria imposed upon us face constant harassment and criminalisation, the act of standing together on June 21st is an expression of our everyday struggle to take back our lives.
The man originally detained on the day has since been deported, and the three people arrested now face massively inflated charges including, most importantly, violent disorder, which could mean serious prison time if found guilty. The charge ‘violent disorder’ is used time and again as a political tool, to isolate individuals as the ‘violent troublemakers’ and turn them into disciplinary examples for the rest of us. We stand in solidarity with those arrested because we won’t accept their attempt to scapegoat and terrorise our friends and communities.
The trial will take place at Blackfriars Crown Court from the 3rd October 2016, for at least 10 days.
Drop the charges against the East St defendants!
If you would like to find out ways in which you can support the East St defendants get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org