Anti-deportation resistance for Saleh family in Cardiff & London

As previously stated, us gremlins expresses our full support and solidarity with Mrs Saleh and her two children who faced forcible deportation. Our thoughts are with the Saleh family and those who resisted over the last week. Love & rage.

Timeline of resistance from Bristol Indymedia:

The Saleh family, Mr S and her two children,  arrived in the UK in November 2007 after suffering  15 years of violence in Egypt. The whole family is now under serious threat of honour-based violence and possibly even death. They had a court hearing on 13th November to receive a fair hearing of their case, but this was completely ignored by UKBA.

The first attempt to deport the family was on the morning Thursday 18th October, which resulted in the family’s home being raided by UKBA officers in Cardiff and two activists being arrested for ‘obstructing UKBA officers’, one of which additionally charged with ‘obstruct pc’. While a call-out was made for supporters to attend Cardiff Bay police station, where the family were taken in order to be transfered to a coach for a flight later that day in London, others made their way to the motorway sliproad. What followed was an attempt to run down activists blockading the road.

The rest of the day was spent showing solidarity for the two arrested comrades, whilst others networked by all means possible calling for support nationally. The call out was well received, with texts, emails and messages circulated to target Egypt Air responsible for the comercial flight. This resulted in their helpline, reservation and effectively their ‘back-up’ telephone lines being clogged up and eventually disconnected, successful vandalism of their facebook wall, with a status update ackknowledging the discruption to the attempted deportation.

Fortunately, due to a security mix-up, they were driven to a detention centre near Gatwick Airport called Ceders avoiding the 3pm commercial flight. As the good news spread, both activists were later released to a crowd of supporters outside, and the campaign to Save the Saleh Family grew.

By the morning, Friday 18th October, it had been noticed by many activists that UKBA offices, within General Building on Newport Road, had received half a dozen smashed windows –presumably in response to the attempted deportation of a loved and well-respected family within the community of Cardiff.

With a limit of 72 hours (3 days) to detain the family before deportation, and the weekend lacking flights to Eygpt, immigration minster Mark Harper authorised an extention of 7 days detention for the family; rather than extending their stay long enough for their court hearing on 13th November. A charter flight was then booked for the morning of Wednesday 24th. In response Mrs S slit her writs and the bathroom was flooded in blood. She wrote with the blood on the walls that she only wants to save her children.

What followed was an injunction granted by the judge responsible for the case the same evening, resulting in UKBA successfully persuading the judge to cancel the injunction – ignoring lawful procedure of appealing. However, anti-deportation activists had already mobilised from Wales and England to resist the deportation, meeting up overnight near Crawley in an attempt to blockade the detention centre where they were being held.

A massive police operation (see video), with more than 50 police vehicles, was then carried out involving police weilding batons and setting dogs on protesters. While one person was hospitalised, another managed to attach themself to the underside of a bus, effectively blocking the exit. The person who was under the bus was then cut off and arrested for aggravated trepass, while the coach was successfully delayed for 5 hours, resulting in the detaines missing their chartered 8am flight.

By the morning, supporters had gathered outside the police station where the arrestee was being held, while contact had been lost with the Saleh family. Due to lack of contact, and inability to resist another deportation due to the unknown location of the family, Mr Saleh, Ibrahim and Lyal, were then deported the following morning, Thursday 25th.

That same morning, in Cardiff, it was noticed that UKBA had received increased damage to their property, including more broken windows and slogans spray-painted ‘No Borders’ and in Welsh ‘Dim Ffiniau’. Leaving no doubt in the minds of UKBA officers as to why their officers had been targeted.

A protest has now been organised by the Save Saleh Family Campaign for this Saturday 27th October at 11:30am, meeting at the Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen Street to protest the UKBA’s immoral and unjust removal of the Saleh family. Bring banners and messages in support of the family!

Solidarity with all migrants – resist deportations!

About Gremlin Alley Social Centre

We are a newly squatted social centre in the heart of City Road, Cardiff, and we have hopes of turning the derelict, disused space of what was formerly known as 'Spin Bowling' into the flourishing heart of a newly-blosomed community. We have been resisting eviction since 4th October 2012.
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1 Response to Anti-deportation resistance for Saleh family in Cardiff & London

  1. Raven says:

    Correction: the family was deported at 8am on the 24th, as planned. The action was brave and everyone deserves 100% respect for doing all they could, however we were unsuccessful. The legal fight is ongoing, the campaign is still gaining momentum and the court of appeal is due to allow or deny an appeal against the deportation this afternoon. Love and rage to all Gremlins especially that one *points* – you know who you are!

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