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Liberty drives through the streets of Brent in response to ‘racist van’ campaign

PUBLISHED: 15:38 06 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:39 06 August 2013

Brent activist Pukkah Punjabi with the van driven by Liberty (Pic credit: Twitter/@libertyhq)

Brent activist Pukkah Punjabi with the van driven by Liberty (Pic credit: Twitter/@libertyhq)

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A civil liberty group drove through the streets of Brent to broadcast their response to a controversial campaign by the government targeting illegal immigrants.

The van that was used as part of the Home Offce campaignThe van that was used as part of the Home Offce campaign

The van by Liberty bore the slogan “Stirring up tension and division in the UK illegally? Home Office, think again” following the Home Office initiative which has attracted heavy criticism.

Liberty parked the vehicle outside Kensal Green station in College Road, where they handed out leaflets explaining their action.

Exactly a week ago an immigration operation took place in the station where witnesses claim officers were only stopping non-white individuals.

Politicians from all parties united to condemn the action which saw a van telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home or face arrest’ driven through Brent and five other boroughs in London.

Immigration officers carried out an operation at Kensal Green station a week ago (pic credit: Phil O'Shea)Immigration officers carried out an operation at Kensal Green station a week ago (pic credit: Phil O'Shea)

Liberty believes the billboards were deeply offensive and divisive and in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Isabella Sankey, Liberty’s director of policy, said: “What better way to show mistrust and division than the latest Home Office activities?

“Offensive vans pedalling racist slogans and spot checks on the streets are as un-British as they are unlawful.

“The department needs to think again, and fast – anyone who has been subject to a spot check should contact Liberty”.

Last week, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced it was to investigate the campaign and spot checks which were also conducted in Chichele Road, Cricklewood, as well as other transport hubs up and down the country this week.

Brent activist Pukkah Punjabi welcomed Liberty’s stance, she said: “People agree that the Home Office has plummeted to new depths with its ‘go home’ campaign.

“The response by Liberty to a campaign that is stirring up tension is an innovative and positive one.

“The vans have been asking people who were stopped to contact them and I hope there can be a legal challenge.”

The van circled the Home Office in Westminster before driving into the borough and on to Walthamstow in east London.

The Home Office said they would make no apology for enforcing immigration laws.

To contact Liberty email information@liberty-human-rights.org.uk.


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