Early this morning, Santa Claus, with the help of some of his elves, erected an 18 foot tall tripod outside the main entrance of the UKBA offices in Glasgow to prevent immigration officials carrying out controversial dawn raids on the families of asylum seekers.
Santa refused to come down from the tripod, which was decorated with tinsel and Christmas decorations, until the UKBA could promise that no more children will be terrorised by immigration officials breaking into their homes to arrest them.
After Santa got into position (with a little Christmas magic) two dark blue UKBA enforcement vans containing officials setting out to carry out an immigration enforcement action were prevented from leaving. Other immigration officials have been prevented from entering the offices for work. Protesters believe that the vans were on their way to raid another asylum seeker family.
Santa in his traditional red and white costume and with a big white beard was being supported by a group of elves from the Campaign Grotto based at the Unity Centre. Several police were in attendence and for the most part the atmosphere is very good humoured. Protesters played Christmas carols during the action.
Santa said: "I'm taking this action to stop any more children from being detained by the UKBA like little 4 year old son Shahmer who with his two teenage sisters and mum and dad was arrested in his home last week by the UKBA. I am shocked that children can be locked up in this way when the government pledged they would never do this again."
After 9 hours of blocking the main gate of the UKBA reporting centre, Santa was arrested at 3:30 this afternoon. Lots of children were passing by on their way home from school, just in time to see Santa being led away by the police.
One of Santa's little helpers was also arrested for not walking out of the exclusion zone police imposed on the protest during the operation to take him down from the tripod..
Messages of support can be sent via
Santa's Solidarity Grotto
c/o Unity Centre
30 Ibrox Street
0141 427 7992
The UNITY Centre is run entirely by volunteers and funded completely by donations from our supporters. We need your help! If you would like to help by making a donation or by volunteering you can find more details on our website. Thank you! UNITY!