A man arrested for immigration offenses was released after protesters went to the scene and tried to “block” enforcement officers.
A group of people gathered for hours in south-east London to stop a vehicle in which the arrested man was traveling.
Footage from the scene shows a crowd of people sitting on the ground in front of a van in Peckham, while another clip shows members of the public shouting “let him go” at officers present.
officer from Metropolitan Police Ivan Cook Close was called shortly after 1.30 pm on Saturday after reports of “protesters obstructing immigration officials”.
The man whom Immigration Enforcement officials were attempting to detain is believed to be a Nigerian and was suspected of having overstayed his visa.
An activist from the South London branch of Stand Up to Racism, who gave his name only as Nicola, said police had “given up” trying to arrest people at the scene.
He said: “The police tried to arrest several workers on the front, but they were caught by others who were sitting and the police gave up.
“And finally, after a lot of protest, the police announced that they were going to release him (the arrested person) and I don’t know, it took them about half an hour to actually open the doors, so we all stopped and got it right.” Called to be soon.”
Officials later said that the arrested man was released on immigration bail.
A Meteorological Department spokesman said: “Officials attended and found that a van was being prevented from leaving the location.
“A person has been arrested by immigration enforcement officers for immigration offenses.”
‘We all sat down’
Eleanor Janega said people were alerted that an immigration raid was taking place “so the locals came down to block it”.
He continued: “We were sitting here and stopping the van and doing snow lollies. They brought in more cops and tried to break up the crowd by pushing us. We all sat down.”
Labor Councilor Reginald Popula said people at the scene had “peacefully surrounded the van”, but claimed that some people were pushed during the demonstration.
Referring to the fact that the man was released on bail, Mr Popula said: “He is being released, peaceful protest is powerful.”
‘Interrupting them will not stop them from performing their duty’
a spokesperson for home Office Said: “It is unacceptable to prevent immigration enforcement teams from doing their jobs.
“Blocking or obstructing them will not prevent them from performing the duties that the public reasonably expects of them.”
It comes amid plans by the government to send more than 30 people to Rwanda on Tuesday.
The Home Office says they arrived in the UK illegally and are being sent there to process their asylum claims.
On Friday, the High Court ruled that a flight carrying asylum seekers to the East African country could go ahead.
The Home Office is set to schedule more flights this year.
Rwanda has defended the plan, tell it to “chance”Later Prince Charles is said to have privately called it “horrendous”,