“A couple of weeks ago the Home Office once again sent their uniformed bullies into Easton. This time things did not go smoothly for them.
Early evening on a weekday in mid-October: word spread that ‘immigration enforcement’ vans had been spotted near an off-license in the backstreets of Easton, Bristol. People soon started to gather. Some had heard what was happening, others were passing by and stopped to watch.
Several of the ‘enforcement’ thugs were inside the off-license, and a couple of people went inside briefly, presumably to make sure everyone inside knew their rights. Before long someone from inside was marched out and put in the van. The small crowd followed, heckling and shaming the racist quasi-cops as they went.
Then the van drove off, leaving two of the ‘enforcement’ bods behind in the offie. People stuck around to see what they were up to next. As they loitered we overheard them on the phone sounding mildly rattled.
Then they made a silly mistake – they came back again with the same van to pick up these stragglers. By now the crowd of people wanting to challenge them was just a bit bigger, and a bit more confident – enough to make the difference between heckling and resistance.
Finding their van blocked on several sides, while louder chants filled the air, they panicked and turned down a one-way street – the wrong way! As they realised their mistake and came to a halt, they were quickly surrounded and blocked.
A standoff ensued: those inside the van sitting tight waiting for the police to rescue them, those outside unable to find a way to free the person imprisoned inside. Someone was holding up useful phone numbers next to the window, but who knows if they had a pen, let alone their phone?
Eventually, a group of cops turned up, on foot, running and somewhat out of breath. Apparently the rush hour chaos on the main roads had combined with the various one-way backstreets of the area to make life a bit stressful for them.
Bizarrely, their first demand (to someone standing in the road nearby) was: “Who are you with?”. Cue a certain amount of confusion, causing even more grumpiness on their parts.
After a certain amount of shoving and threatening arrest, they pushed us out of the road. The van drove off with its kidnapped captive still inside. Not what we might have hoped for, but at least we made it difficult for them – and began to prove to ourselves that it is possible to stop them.”
There were also reports of a raid disrupted in the past couple of weeks in Peckham, South London. A ‘racist van’ had its windscreen smashed during a large scale attempted raid on a house, and the officers chose to leave early without taking any prisoners.