Climate justice activists block Home Office in Glasgow to protest hostile migrant policies
December 20, 2021
Home Office, 170 Brand Street, Glasgow, UK
Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters have blocked the entrance to the Home Office building in Glasgow to demand the UK Government end its hostile environment policy towards migrants.
Four activists have blocked access by locking themselves to each other and the gates with messages on equipment and banners stating ‘Refugees Welcome’, ‘End the Hostile Environment’ and ‘Climate Justice = Migrant Justice’.
The action is in response to Priti Patel’s flagship Nationality and Borders Bill passing through the House Of Commons. The bill, opposed by human rights groups, could criminalise individuals seeking asylum and grant immunity to border force staff when refugees are killed after being pushed back into French waters . The bill passed through parliament just a fortnight after 27 refugees lost their lives while attempting to cross the English Channel, in the deadliest crossing on record .
Stuart, a 23 year-old support worker, said, “The UK Government are complicit in murder for passing a bill that Parliament’s own human rights committee  has ruled is incompatible with international law and would endanger more refugee lives at sea. Rather than accept its responsibility in displacing communities through violent, neocolonial policies abroad, the UK continues to uphold similarly violent and racist border policies at home. In Glasgow we’ve already seen deaths of refugees kept in hotel detention  and raids on people’s homes in our communities, but we’ve also witnessed the power of resistance when citizens refuse to step aside so we’re here to play our part today.”
The activists are highlighting how the UK has contributed to the forced displacement of millions of people through extractive policies exacerbarting the climate crisis, as well being the world’s second largest arms trading nation , yet refuses to grant basic human rights to the victims seeking sanctuary in this country. Asylum seekers in Glasgow that were victims of the Park Inn Hotel incident launched a high court case against Home Office negligence this week .
Shane, 67, a retired social worker, said, “The UK’s heartless hostile environment policy routinely denies migrants their human rights, preventing access to employment, healthcare, housing and other basic services. The world’s richest 10% are responsible for half of global emissions compared with the poorest half emitting only 10% , yet it will be the communities least responsible that are forced to flee their homes on a scale never seen before as the climate crisis escalates. The hostile environment must end, there can be no climate justice without migrant justice.”
XR Glasgow are supporting local and international grassroots groups providing direct support and solidarity to refugees and migrants and are encouraging their supporters to do the same.
Groups supported by XR Glasgow
MORE – Migrants Organising For Rights and Empowerment
A grassroots group of migrants and members of the community, campaigning for the right to work, study, good housing and to be treated with dignity. Support MORE.
No Evictions Network
Glasgow based group centred on and led by people who are in the asylum and immigration system. Providing support and solidarity to asylum seekers and fighting injustices particularly in the housing system. Support No Evictions Network.
Support for Grassroots Aid Groups in Calais providing food, clothing and shelter to refugees. Support the Calais Appeal.
 Nationality & Borders Bill: the truth behind the claims: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/nationality-borders-bill-truth-behind-claims
 27 deaths in deadliest channel crossing on record https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59412329
 New powers to pushback and criminalise Channel crossings breach UK’s human rights obligations, JCHR finds https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/93/human-rights-joint-committee/news/159292/new-powers-to-pushback-and-criminalise-channel-crossings-breach-uks-human-rights-obligations-jchr-finds/
 Calls for inquiry into deaths of asylum seekers in Glasgow: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jun/25/calls-for-inquiry-into-asylum-seekers-deaths-in-glasgow
 Government figures reveal UK remains second largest arms trader https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54435335
 Men bring high court claim against the Home Office https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/12/glasgow-hotel-stabbings-court-claim
 World’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while poorest 3.5 billion account for just a tenth: https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-carbon-emissions-while-poorest-35-billion-account