Anti-deportation protests
Various groups in the UK are fighting for fairer treatment by the government in relation to immigration and deportation REUTERS/Luke MacGregor BRITAIN

Two anti-deportation activists have apparently glued themselves to the gate of the immigration centre near Heathrow airport to protest against the deportation of people from the UK. However, there has been no official or independent confirmation of the incident.

On Tuesday, 10 demonstrators from the Unity Centre formed a blockade outside the Colnbrook immigration removal centre in an attempt to prevent a bus transporting deportees from heading to Stansted airport.

The fire brigade and the police were called in to handle the situation but no arrests were made.The deportees from Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone were being sent back to their countries.

The Tribune quoted a Met police spokesman as saying, "There were a small number of demonstrators in attendance at the immigration centre who had been there since 5.30pm.

"We were on the scene with the fire brigade in a monitoring role and there have been no arrests."

On 24 November, the Unity Centre website posted a notice calling for support from people to call the airport in protest against what they termed "mass deportation". The post went on to explain: "Many individuals have ongoing immigration cases, many cannot afford to pay the huge legal fees to regularise their stay and most have families, children, partners and strong ties to the UK. For this current flight there have been reports of individuals who were born in the UK being given this removal, individuals with disputed nationalities and severe health conditions.

"This has been enabled by a very suspect agreement between the Nigerian High Commission and the UK Home Office regarding issuing travel documents without following the procedures they themselves outline."

Earlier in the year, border officials were accused of rounding up individuals of specific nationalities in order to fill up the chartered planes that were booked by them for deportation purposes. A change in rules allows the government to deport people even if their legal paperwork is still being processed. Deportees are then allowed to carry on their application work from outside the UK.

Speaking to The Guardian in August, Jasmine Sallis of the Unity Centre explained the toll this can take on the deportees and their families. "These increasingly stringent rules result in families being split apart forever, children growing up without knowing their parents and individuals being torn unexpectedly from lives they have been living often for a very long time."