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Few reprieved as flight of deportees leaves for Jamaica

AT LEAST five people who were booked to be deported on a special chartered flight to Jamaica today have been reprieved.

It is believed that lawyers of the five managed to place a stop order on their deportation at the last minute.

Details of what transpired including details of those reprieved were unavailable up to the time of reporting. However, informed sources say the flight departed at 6.30am from Stansted Airport and is now on its way to Jamaica.

Protesters gathered outside the Jamaican high commission in London yesterday (Sept 6) to demonstrate against Jamaica’s cooperation with a deportation flight. The small group of protesters, led by Movement for Justice, were demanding that the deportation be stopped.

Some of those who protest at the Jamaican High Commission in London wanted clarification on the recent development.

They argued that they need to know if there was some form, of arrangement with the previous government following the visit by David Cameron to the island and the proposed building of a prison by the British government in Jamaica.

Others in the Diaspora community are also questioning why the deportation has been so quiet without family members not being more vocal or significant input of political leader associated with the Jamaica Diaspora community.

Reports are that some 60 Jamaicans, including grandmothers, grandfather, siblings and even a former soldier who served in the British army with five children in the UK including a four-year-old, were scheduled to arrive in the island later today.

It's understood that many have been in the UK since they were children, some even arrived as babies. Most are said to be connected to British citizens whose parents forgot to regularise their status, along with other breaches that makes them eligible for deportation.

Antonia Alexander with Movement for Justice, an organisation which fights for equality and Justice, told The Gleaner that the action of the British authorities reflects great injustice as some of those being deported served in British army.

"We want the Jamaican government to say no to accept these deportees but it will take the community to stand up for its people," she said.

With small bag packed with the belongings of former soldier Twayne Morgan, his sister left the protest early as she said her brother who was picked up two weeks ago after going to sign on is being deported.

"He is an ex-soldier who went to Afghanistan, he got into some trouble as served time for GBH, he is mentally ill with PTSD as well as bipolar; he has been out for three years," she said.

She added that he had been sectioned under the mental health act, but stressed that he is not a "danger to society".

"All I want is justice for him and the others being deported; they say he is a danger to society but he isn’t; they are sending him home where he has no family; he has five children here, one is four months old, but they say she can speak to his children on Skype.

"I am going to give him his bag with only his clothes, he has nothing else and nowhere to go to", she said.

Those at the protest argued that the deportation action was sudden give little time for the community to be mobilised. An effort to get a comment out of the high commission was futile.

A source there said that they became aware of the protest and concerns but were unable to comment.

And with reports that there could be further deportation Movement for Justice has planned another protest on September 10 at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

They are demanding what they say is to end the hostile environment and stop scapegoat deportation, stop deportations on mass charter flights; build community resistance to immigration raids among other issues.

In March, some 2,000 protesters marched on Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire chanting "Shut it down!"

It was reported that many of the marchers were current or former asylum seekers themselves. The protest was called by Movement for Justice as part of a series of demonstrations outside the detention centre.

The Movement for Justice was set up in 1995 around the Kingsway College Student Union in the London Borough of Camden to tackle racism in institutional and established forms.

The group confronted organised fascism as well as death in custody and wider racism to black people as well as travellers, refugees and asylum seekers.

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