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Dawn chorus against dawn raids

People holding a banner saying 'refugees welcome'

Local residents gathered outside  the Home Office Enforcement Team compound in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre last year. They were protesting against the government's policy of dawn raids where people seeking asylum have their homes raided and can be terrorised at any hour of the day or night. Residents, with pots, pans, whistles and drums descended on the new base of the regional Enforcement Team, following the recent Home Office announcement that following a national review of their operations, North Shields Reporting centre would be closed and from documents seen by local people, the Enforcement Teams will target the homes of asylum applicants and their families from this new site.

Despite evidence of the negative impact on adults and children involved and the effects on community cohesion the government has refused to engage in any meaningful debate or change this inhuman policy.

Sam Green, a spokesperson for the group said,

“During a dawn raid, families are woken abruptly, and forced to pack all their life’s belongings, before being put into Enforcement team vans and taken from the community. These dawn raids are carried out in secret – families with young children are being taken from their beds without anyone knowing. We’re here to make a noise and make these raids heard about - I am sure that if people knew that families were being snatched from our communities, they’d be horrified”.

Sam added “The suddenness of these raids makes it very difficult for families to contact their legal representative, their children's school and their friends and support networks and is very traumatic for both the family and for the community left behind”.

The action was supported by Beyond Borders and is part of a wider campaign across the country making a noise about dawn raids.