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Protest over UK flight of deportees bound for Jamaica

WITH REPORTS that some 50 or more Jamaicans are scheduled to be deported on a specially chartered flight from the UK today (Sept 7), a small group of protestors led by Movement for Justice, converged on the offices of the Jamaican High Commission in London demanding that the deportation be stopped.

Antonia Alexander one of the leaders with Movement for Justice an organisation which fights for equality and justice said that the action of the British authorities reflects great injustice as some of those being deported served in the British army.

She said: "We want the Jamaican government to say no to accepting these deportees but it will take the community to stand up for its people."

With a small bag packed with the belonging 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 had been living in the UK for over 12 years.

"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 added that he had been sectioned under the mental health act.

"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 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 added.

It is understood that many on the special chartered flight 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 naturalise them.


DEMONSTRATION: A protester holds up a sign outside the Jamaican High Commission in London

Those at the protest argued that the deportation action was sudden give little time for the community to be mobilised. Efforts to get a comment out of the High Commission was futile.

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 an end to the hostile environment and stop scapegoat deportation, stop deportations on mass charter flights; build community resistance to immigration raids among other issues.

Last September, then High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet-Assamba urged Jamaicans and their descendants in Britain to collect their passport and claim their Jamaican citizenship despite what their status may be in the UK.

In her appeal she noted: “Come and get your passport renewed, don’t continue to have no travel documents as Jamaica will never tell you that you can’t come home, those who have passport at our office should come and collect them or get in touch with the office.

“We can’t share your information with anybody unless you give us permission to do so”, she added, referring to possible fear of their status being reported to the UK Boarder Agency.

“We have passports piling up at the office for many as we have no contact number or address for those persons. If you have children born here they are not necessary British nationals, so get your children sorted, get their Jamaican citizenship confirmed, provide proof of their parents or grandparents; if you travel to Jamaica on a British passport you may only get two weeks stay in the country and then have to apply to get extended stay, to avoid that get your Jamaican passport as you are entitled by law to have dual nationality,” Ms Assamba had said.

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