GLASWEGIANS must come together to stop hundreds of asylum seekers being evicted, following a Court of Session ruling yesterday found that the process would not be illegal, it is claimed.

Campaigners from Living Rent said it was time to evoke the spirit of protests against the dawn raids, which in the early 2000s saw communities set up a neighbourhood warning system to look out for Home Office vans, in order to protect asylum seekers from deportation.

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The tenants union, which has been working with Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (MORE), also called on landlords and housing associations not to cooperate with the eviction process.

It is amongst organisations calling for more action from Glasgow City Council – which despite forming a task force following Serco’s announcement that it planned to evict up to 300 asylum seekers who no longer had a right to housing last July – has been unable to come up with a plan for additional emergency accommodation.

The National:

The calls come after a Court of Session ruling on Friday that evicting refused asylum seekers by changing locks would not be illegal. Govan Law is understood to be considering an appeal and other legal challenges are also now pending.

Meanwhile some 280 refused asylum seekers could face street homelessness. The Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum has only 22 spaces and does not accept women, while a refugee hosting scheme, run by charity Positive Action in Housing, is heavily subscribed.

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Sources told the Sunday National there was frustration that despite a successful motion passed by the council last December to create a support hub for destitute asylum seekers – and to request funding from the Scottish Government – little progress seemed to have been made.

Describing the judgement a “a staggering disappointment”, a spokesman for Living Rent said: “Though the council made suggestions through its task force for changes to the system, these will not provide the safeguards needed to protect vulnerable tenants.

“We are calling on tenants to come out and support their neighbours and we urge asylum seekers to come forward with their voices. Our collective power is strong.”

The National:

Glasgow Green Councillor Kim Long, who put down the motion last December added: “Serco would be wise to think carefully before doing anything further, because we know the people of Glasgow will not allow our neighbours to be evicted.

“The judgement makes clear the urgent need for access to safe accommodation for people who are now at greater risk of being on the street. Greens won council support for this months ago. Now we need action from the administration.”

A council spokesman claimed that taskforce had made “real progress” adding: “It is not realistic to expect it would reverse Government policy.”

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Cllr Jennifer Layden said UK legislation allowing for evictions was “not fit for purpose” and ran contrary to Glasgow’s “principles of compassion and community integration”. She added: “Asylum seekers in the city should know that, regardless of the ruling, we will continue to press the Home Office for a firm commitment that we will not see a repeat of the kind of threats made by Serco last summer.”

Last December emails released under a Freedom of Information request showed that Serco had sent advance warning of plans to evict using lock changes to Layden – who claims she was on holiday – and two council officials.

Meanwhile Serco this week welcomed the judgement, and said it would enter talks with the Home Office and the city council about “how best to proceed”.