Activists, residents and politicians are set to mark the one year anniversary of a Glasgow protest over the detention of two men in Kenmure Street. 

On May 13, 2021 protesters blockaded a street in the city's Pollokshields area to prevent  Border Force officials from leaving with two Indian nationals detained in a dawn raid. 

Around 200 residents had gathered at the scene last year to block an immigration van, with people chanting  “Leave our neighbours, let them go” and “Cops go home”. 

The Herald:

A two-day 'Festival of Resistance'is set to take place on Friday and Saturday this week to mark the protest, alongside a silent vigil led by campaigner Pinar Aksu. 

She said: We want to remember the importance and the moment of solidarity from 2021 and to say that refugees are welcome here.” 

The Herald: Image of Pinar Aksu by Billy Knox PhotographyImage of Pinar Aksu by Billy Knox Photography

The event was described as "never more important" amid plans from the UK Government to deport migrants deemed to have reached the country illegally to Rwanda. 

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon and Douglas Ross clash over Tory Rwanda plan

Scottish Refugee Council chief executive Sabir Zazai will be one of the key speakers at the event. 

“One year ago, the people of Kenmure Street told the Home Office loud and clear that their inhumane tactics are not welcome here," he said. 

"We cannot tolerate a society in which people seeking protection live in fear of experiencing a dawn raid in their own homes. This simply isn’t the kind of society people in Scotland want to live in."

“The Home Office is now planning to use even more brutal tactics and deport people who are only looking to rebuild their lives in safety to Rwanda. It has never been more important that we stand together as a community, as a society and as a country to these disgraceful plans, in the spirit of Kenmure Street.”

The two-day event will start with a silent vigil from 5.30pm on May 13 from the bus stop on Kenmure Street. 

It will be followed by a day of speeches from speakers such as human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, Glasgow MP Alison Thewliss as well as MSPs Patrick Harvie and Paul Sweeney. 

It is being organised by local grassroot groups and charities including, Govanhill Baths Community Trust, Maryhill Integration Network, Freedom from Torture and  Unity Sisters.

Manager of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust Fatima Uygun said: "First and foremost we want to really underline that no one is illegal.

"Refugees and asylum seekers deserve to be treated with dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential. 

“Even though Glasgow is one of the largest refugee dispersal centres in the UK, the voices of people - especially women - going through this process are largely unheard, silenced by a lack of resources, support, and a real fear of being subject to hostile and racist measures - like dawn raids - from the UK Government.”

The Herald:

Amid the massive Kenmure Street demonstration, Police Scotland had released a statement saying the men would be released to protect public safety.

One of the men who had been in the van, Lakhvir Singh, 34, spoke out at the time.

He said: “I’ve been astonished and overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the people of Glasgow.

“At around 9.30am immigration enforcement carried out a raid and we were taken to security in the van.

“There were only five or six people at the time but word spread and then there were crowds of hundreds.

“We are so grateful for the support.”