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Chinatown erupts over ‘hostile environment’ immigration raids

August 1, 2018 5:28 PM
By Tom Foot in West End Extra 27 July 2018

Chinatown Fishing Raid Linda ChungChinatown was shut down for five hours [on 24 July] during a strike triggered by "hostile environment" immigration raids that led to one blind mute protester almost being run over by a Home Office van.

Hundreds of traders walked out at midday on Tuesday and marched to the Home Office waving placards and chanting slogans including "No more fishing raids" and "Justice for Chinatown".

Chinatown chiefs warn that recent restaurant raids have been "fishing" for illegal workers rather than acting on intelligence. Tensions reached boiling point on July 5 when a wailing woman protester was almost run over during a lie-down street protest in Newport Place.

Five arrests were made that day, according to the Home Office, but the chaotic scenes - dramatic footage has been circulating online - have outraged the community.

Co-founder of Chinese Liberal Democrats, Linda Chung (right), warned the "hostile environment" introduced by the Home Office is affecting Chinese people as well as Windrush citizens.

She said: "Let's be clear that no community wants to deliberately flout the law. The Chinese community particularly respects law. This was provoked by the heavy-handed treatment of an elderly Chinese woman, in the chaos of one fishing raid. This incident and her treatment epitomises the disproportionate behaviour of the immigration authorities. If fishing raids are truly guided by intelligence, why do it in such a public way, at the busiest times, such as to upset visitors, customers, and label the Chinese community as a load of criminals? These acts provoke hate, suspicion and mistrust. They give racists permission to attack the voiceless and vulnerable. The hostile community is in our community and we will not be silent."

Read the full article here