NICOLA Sturgeon has expressed her consternation after police were called to a Glasgow street where protesters are trying to prevent immigration officers from removing people from a property.

Ms Sturgeon, who was this morning sworn in as an MSP, said she was "deeply concerned" by the Home Office's actions. 

READ MORE: Protesters surround immigration van as officials stage Glasgow raid

Posting a video of events to Twitter, she said: "As constituency MSP, I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office, especially today in the heart of a community celebrating Eid.

"My office is making urgent enquiries and stands ready to offer any necessary assistance to those detained."

Pictures on social media show an immigration enforcement van parked on Kenmure Street, with people sitting on the road in front of it and a crowd round the vehicle.

Around 200 protesters are at the scene, with chants of “Leave our neighbours, let them go” and “Cops go home” being heard.

A line of police officers in face masks can be seen in attendance.

HeraldScotland: Police by an immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow which is surrounded by protestersPolice by an immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow which is surrounded by protesters

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At around 9.55am this morning, police were called to support colleagues at the UK Border Agency at an address in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow.

“A number of protesters are now at the location.

“Officers are at the scene and inquiries are continuing.”

Ms Sturgeon was not alone among politicians condemning the Home Office action, with SNP MSP for Glasgow Pollok Humza Yousaf calling events a demonstration of the UK Government's "hostile environment".

He said: "This UK Border Force Operation, in Polloksheilds, the heart of the Muslim community, on Eid is a demonstration of the UK Govt's hostile environment.

"I have asked to speak to the Home Secretary to gain further details & make clear just how unacceptable this situation is."

He later said that he was disappointed that "out of 8 Home Office Ministers none of them could make themselves available to speak to me.

"Having spoken to the DG for Home Office in Scotland I have urged him to abandon the forced removal.

"He will consider next steps & I have requested an update."

Nicola Sturgeon added: "The @ukhomeoffice action today is creating a dangerous and unacceptable situation in Pollokshields.

"As local MSP, I am also seeking urgent answers from them - they must resolve this situation ASAP."

Glasgow MSP Alison Thewliss wrote: "This is absolutely awful, but heartened to see local residents in Pollokshields standing up for their neighbours and refusing to accept the brutality of the UK Home Office.

"I am taking this matter up with Ministers. Not in our name." 


Felow SNP Councillor Mhairi Hunter Tweeted: "I am at a Full Council but seeing horrendous scenes from Kenmure Street.

"These kinds of raids are completely unacceptable at any time but coming in to the heart of Pollokshields on Eid. How dare they! Adding insult to injury. Absolutely disgusting."

Anas Sarwar, who said he was "disgusted", called for an immigration policy that is based on "human dignity and human rights."

He said: "I am disgusted by the Home Office raids in Pollokshields.

"It is particularly unacceptable that this is happening during a pandemic, in an area that has a spike in cases and on the day of Eid.

"We need an immigration policy that is based on human dignity & human rights."

Mohammad Asif, director of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, was one of what he said were hundreds of neighbours protesting against the action.

The 54-year-old said: “We’re here against the hostile environment created by the Tories and the British state.

“The same people who run from the British and American bombs put at the back of the van right now. And they are about to be deported.

HeraldScotland: Demonstrators sit in front of police by an immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow which is surrounded by protesters.Demonstrators sit in front of police by an immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow which is surrounded by protesters.

“And it’s on Eid you know… the guys are not even allowed to pray. How do you do that in a democratic society? It’s a sad day.”

Mr Asif, who left Afghanistan as a refugee himself in 2000, said the atmosphere amongst the protesters is peaceful.

Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, wrote on Twitter: “Not close to the details on this but this is shocking, disgraceful and racist if people are raided by enforcement officers amidst the pandemic on the day of #Eid.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.