By Anonymous, submitted on Thu, 05/10/2006 - 12:05
Swift action and a balcony protest prevented the Home Office from detaining a family in Cardonald this morning. After a 5 hour balcony protest, Cem Coban was taken from the flat by Police officers. The families outside blocked the van from leaving. Families and supporters gathered outside from 7am when they heard of the Raid on the Turkish family of four, resident in Glasgow for six years. There was a stand-off until about 11am, when the Police brought out Mr Coban, and put him in a small Van. People rushed forward to prevent the van from leaving, by sitting in front of it. First it went one way, then another. Still the crowd of around 30-40 people would not move, showing unbelievable bravery. The van was forced to reverse to get out through another exit and the protesters ran to block that road as well. I heard a cop tell the driver to keep moving forward, despite the women and children sat in his path. Ugly scenes ensued when the Police forced the van through the resisting crowd. One woman was run over, apparently knocked unconscious and treated by paramedics. (She was released from hospital after a short time.) Although Mr Coban had been taken away, it emerged that he was in Police Custody, rather than the hands of the Immigration Service. He appears at the Sheriff Court tomorrow at 10am to face a charge of Breach of the Peace. His wife has been taken ill to Hospital. The family’s 14-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter are being looked after by friends. Long-time Glasgow residents, initially unaware of the reason for the protest, joined in once they realised what was going on. One other man was arrested for Breach of the Peace after apparently making some kind of remark on the way into his block, further alienating the Police from locals. One said to me “it’s disgusting that they won’t let folk live in peace here,” before taking flyers for Saturday’s demonstration. Saturday’s demonstration leaves from 3 points in Glasgow at 10:30, converging on a rally at George Square at 12 noon. Asylum seekers are calling for people to come and show their disgust (not in short supply) at the Home Office’s treatment of people.