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Nicolson Square: Home Office vans aiming to deport immigrants seen off by huge protest


H

ome Office deportation vans had to be escorted away by police after hundreds of Scottish people blocked them in during a failed Edinburgh immigration raid, according to reports.

Hundreds cheered in a packed Nicolson Square as the vans were led away after an alleged immigration raid close to Beirut restaurant.

Some chanted: “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here,” as the sound of bagpipes wailed in the background.

Local reports claim the demonstrators have been told that people detained by immigration officers will now be de-arrested.

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Protesters wedged in the white Home Office vans with large bins as some clambered on top of the roof.

They claimed they would allow immigration officers to leave if they did not take any detainees with them.

One eyewitness told the Daily Record they saw over 100 people at the gathering.

They added: “There are two vans, reportedly immigration vans, from the Government here, one black, one silver, protestors are jumping on top of them screaming: “no justice, no peace.”

Edingburgh Anti-Raids a protest group which highlighted the alleged immigration raid and called on people to gather in Nicolson Square to protest declared victory on Twitter as the police left.

They said: “The home office staff left with no one detained, all that’s left is empty vans. Thank you everyone for helping this happen. It is a big, big win.”

It came a year after Police Scotland released two men detained by Border Force officials in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, after people surrounded the van they were being held in and prevented it from leaving.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 6.45pm on Thursday, 5 May, 2022, police were made aware of a group of people gathering on Potterrow, Edinburgh.

“Officers are at the scene.”

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

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