Brixton against deportation

The following Saturday I was with Movement for Justice again protesting against deportations, but in Brixton, marching through areas of the community to gain support along with people from groups including Sisters Uncut, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Mazimbabweans, a movement for freedom, democracy and equality in Zimbabwe.

I arrived almost an hour late, thanks to my train being held up by signalling problems in the Clapham Junction area, and found there was nobody at the meeting point in Windrush Square. I tried the phone number I had for one of the organisers, but only got her answering service, and wondered what to do. I wandered up towards the underground station and as I came opposite it could hear the sound of a protest, though there was nothing in sight. But walking on a few yards in the direction the noise was coming from I saw them coming around 50 yards down Atlantic Rd.

The march turned on to the Brixton’s main street, holding up traffic on the busy road and being seen by many of the shoppers, quite a few of whom applauded, waved or shouted in support. Once people saw the banners and posters and saw what the protest was about there was a very positive response from most.

We turned off down the Brixton Station Road to march through the market stalls there, and past the few remaining businesses still refusing to be moved from Brixton Arches and continued a tour of the neighbourhood,  going along Gresham Rd to Brixton Police Station and then turning back onto Brixton Road to march through the centre back to Windrush Square.

The march held up traffic as it went slowly towards Windrush Square, but  many of the drivers passing on the northbound lane waved and beeped in support, and again there was a very positive response from shoppers on the street.

At the junction with Acre Lane the march spread across the whole crossroads and briefly blocked all traffic before moving on to Windrush Square for a rally, where everyone who wanted to speak was allowed to do so, giving a range of views and experiences of the problems facing those coming to this country. Many of those on the march were people who had come here as refugees and asylum seeks, and some were still waiting to receive permission to stay.

As one woman said, every time she went for her regular routine appointment at one of the immigration reporting centres she knew that she might not be allowed to walk out and go back to her friends, but might find herself handcuffed and being taken to be put on a plane back to the country from which she had fled, fearing for her life.

More at: Brixton march against mass deportations


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