Twitter is full of reports of the UK Border Agency stopping and performing random ID checks on people of colour in South East train stations today.
The above picture (click to enlarge) was taken by twitter user @SaveKRLibrary at Kensal Tube station in the capital this morning. There have been so far unconfirmed reports coming in from other stations.
The following account was reported to the Kilburn Times:
“…according to several witnesses the officers were aggressive, intimidating and were specifically targeting non-white individuals.
Kensal Rise resident Phil O’Shea told the Times he was threatened with arrest when he asked what was going on.
He said: “I thought the behaviour of the immigration officers was heavy-handed and frightening. They appeared to be stopping and questioning every non-white person, many of whom were clearly ordinary Kensal Green residents going to work.
“When I queried what was going on I was threatened with arrest for obstruction and was told to ‘crack on’.
“I asked that officer for his name but he refused to give it and said I could read his number on his shoulder but I couldn’t see a number there.”
Matthew Kelcher, who lives in All Souls Avenue, also witnessed the operation, he said: “They said they were doing random checks but a lot of people who use that station are tourists so I don’t know what message that sounds out to the world.
“They seemed to be picking out foreign people in an intimidating situation.
“Kensal Green is a diverse community which is settled and they (the government) are going about it on the wrong approach.
“This is more about publicity than dealing about the issue.”
This is not the first time UKBA have made such strident public appearances, but the timing of the move seems part of a conspicuous ‘zero tolerance’ pantomime, as the political parties compete in a race to the bottom on immigration policy.
This week, the #RacistVan is touring London streets delivering the government’s new ‘Go Home’ campaign against illegal immigrants. The van is tells illegal immigrants to go home and has received a wave of criticism from the twittersphere, ably coordinated by @PukkahPunjabi. The government plans to roll the #RacistVan out nationwide.
The following picture is the actual #RacistVan
The subsequent pictures are the valiant photo shop efforts currently doing the rounds.
The graphic below (click to enlarge) provides an overview of the rights you have within the law, if approached by UKBA officers. Please print out and carry in your wallet if you feel you may find yourself caught up in these political raids.
UPDATE 31/07/2013: The following picture was taken by @NRBrizzle at Stratford Tube Station this morning. He is live tweeting as he sees tens of officers stopping predominantly non-white people to check their credentials.
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