Today in London’s radical history: demo against racist immigration controls, 2005

Hackney: a demo against racist immigration controls, and for the freedom of movement for migrants, took place on April 2nd, 2005.

About 500 people joined the march starting from Clerkenwell Green. It was originally planned to go to London Fields in Hackney, but police only agreed to allow it as far as Haggerston Park where a rally took place.

En route, a petition was handed in at the home office ‘communications house’ at old street, where asylum seekers have to sign on regularly and often enter the building not knowing whether they might be forcibly deported. . Imagine fleeing torture and repression and then being forced to go every two weeks to building not knowing if your about to be detained and returned to your abusers? No spokesman from the centre would come out to talk to the delegation despite workers being clearly seen at the windows.

The march and rally attracted a wide cross-section of people and generations united in protest at the unjustness of immigration laws that discriminate against the poor and that are clearly racist in their result.

Along the march, the ubiquitous ‘rhythms of resistance’ samba band (with some support from Sheffield) kept people’s steps light and attracted attention to the protest with their rousing and loud rhythms.

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An entry in the 2016 London Rebel History Calendar – check it out online

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