Chinatown businesses to hold walk-out protest in response to raids

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chinatown businesses to hold walk-out protest in response to raids
Businesses in London’s Chinatown will stage a five hour protest today in response to what they believe to be unreasonable treatment at the hands of immigration services and police.

The protest, organised by London Chinatown Chinese Association, will see businesses stage walk-outs at midday, when they will assemble at Newport Place along with community leaders; and activists.

A march will commence at 1pm, culminating in a peaceful demonstration outside the Home Office in Westminster.

Businesses will reopen at 5pm after the demonstration finishes.

The protest follows a clash on 5 July between police and workers at the Joy Luck restaurant on Gerard Street. Members of staff were said to be “treated with unreasonable aggression and handcuffed”.

Footage of the raid was circulated on social media, and the area was declared a crime scene.

According to an onlooker who posted footage of the raid on Facebook, a lady was hit by the immigration van by the officers, who now make “weekly visits” to businesses in the area.

LCCA says that the incident – known as a ‘fishing raid’- took place days after a meeting with immigration officials to build trust between the police and the community.

Such raids have been happening with increased frequency since 2016, when changes to the Immigration Act made it easier to enforce immigration laws.

A statement from the Home Office read “while we respect the public’s right to protest, it is important that any demonstrations do not obstruct our officers from carrying out their lawful business.”

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