Extinction Rebellion block Home Office building to protest Nationality and Borders Bill

Support us and go ad-free

An Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest has blocked the front entrance to the Home Office building in Glasgow.

The activists locked themselves to each other and to the property’s gates from about 7am on Monday.

The protesters, from XR Scotland and XR Glasgow, are calling on the UK government “to end its hostile environment policy towards migrants​​​”.

They said the demonstration has been organised in response to home secretary Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill passing through the House Of Commons.

The bill came after 27 people lost their lives trying to cross the English Channel in November – a journey that has resulted in 166 people being recorded as either dead or missing since 2014.

“State-sanctioned murder”

Patel’s bill – which cleared the Commons last week – seeks to curb these crossings and also change how asylum claims are processed.

A spokesperson for XR Scotland said:

The Nationality and Borders Bill must be stopped

It’s beyond cruel to criminalise people seeking asylum.

It’s state-sanctioned murder to grant immunity to border force staff if refugees die after being pushed back into French waters.

The demonstration comes after several organisations rallied together in a mass protest against the bill on Sunday in London outside 10 Downing Street.

Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion activists demonstrating outside Glasgow’s Home Office building in response to the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill (Extinction Rebellion)

In Glasgow, banners read: “Refugees Welcome”, “End the Hostile Environment” and “Climate Justice = Migrant Justice”.

A retired social worker who took part in the protest said:

The UK’s heartless hostile environment policy routinely denies migrants their human rights, preventing access to employment, healthcare, housing and other basic services.

The world’s richest 10% are responsible for half of global emissions compared with the poorest half emitting only 10%, yet it will be the communities least responsible that are forced to flee their homes on a scale never seen before as the climate crisis escalates.

The hostile environment must end, there can be no climate justice without migrant justice.

Extinction Rebellion
The protesters have locked themselves to each other and to the gates of the Home Office building in Glasgow (Extinction Rebellion)

Scotland and Wales against the bill

Ministers in Scotland and Wales jointly condemned measures in the UK government’s Nationality and Borders Bill as “barbaric” last week – as well as warning the legislation may need approval from the parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Scottish social justice secretary Shona Robison and her Welsh counterpart Jane Hutt wrote a joint letter to Patel to demand the UK reconsiders its “hostile environment strategy” and develops “sufficient safe and legal routes” for asylum seekers.

The letter outlined that the Scottish and Welsh governments have “far-reaching concerns about the impact of the provisions” in the bill.

Robison and Hutt stated:

This legislation contains measures that will prevent migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, including the barbaric suggestions for ‘push-back’ exercises involving enforcement officials seeking to repel small boats.

Rather than help matters, these measures will delay rescues and endanger lives.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us