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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 15:54 GMT
Protesters in 'asylum raid' demo
Protest poster in door
Protesters made their views known with a poster in the door
Activists have ended their occupation of the UK Immigration Service HQ on the south side of Glasgow.

About 30 protesters, including Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan and Nationalist MSP Sandra White, were taking part in the blockade.

Campaigners, angry at the use of dawn raids to deport failed asylum seekers, began the protest at 0900 GMT and tried to close the centre for 12 hours.

But the sit-in ended about 1500 GMT after negotiations with police.

The centre was targeted because it is where asylum seekers are required to sign on.

One of the Birmingham Six, Paddy Hill, and film director and actor Peter Mullan were also among the protesters.

We want Jack McConnell to get Tony Blair's foot off his neck
Rosie Kane MSP
Scottish Socialist Party

The Reverend Iain Whyte, of the Iona Community, compared dawn raids to the policies of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, said the protest was to highlight the "inhumanities perpetrated" by the Home Office.

She added: "The Home Office's practices on Scottish soil are now causing international embarrassment.

"What's clear right now is that things can't go on as they are."

Mr Sheridan said: "We are highlighting the continued inhumanity of forced removal."

Vucaj family
The Vucaj family, who were detained in a dawn raid in Glasgow

Fellow Socialist MSP Rosie Kane insisted: "We want Jack McConnell to get Tony Blair's foot off his neck and the Scottish Parliament to take control of asylum and immigration and end this madness of dawn raids."

Mr Hill, who lives in Ayrshire, declared: "I know what it's like to be on the wrong end of a dawn raid.

"I know the damage it's done to me and my family still 30 years later after they kicked the doors of my house in.

"It's a different circumstance but same situation."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have arranged to meet Tommy Sheridan MSP next week to discuss immigration issues in Scotland."

September protest

About 200 campaigners, including asylum seekers, staged a protest in Glasgow against dawn raids in September.

The show of strength came days after a dawn raid on the Glasgow home of a failed asylum seeking Kosovan family.

The Vucaj family had been arrested and taken to the Yarlswood Centre in Bedfordshire, before being deported.

The five members of the family, including three children, had lived in Scotland for five years.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the protesters move in



SEE ALSO:
Dawn asylum raids 'will continue'
16 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Asylum seeker treatment protest
01 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Protest over refugee dawn raids
17 Sep 05 |  Scotland


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