MORE than a thousand protestors yesterday forced the Home Office to release two men they had detained in a dawn raid.

Activists rushed to the scene in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow, yesterday morning at around 9.40am when they got word that two Indian nationals had been detained.

One protestor managed to squeeze himself under the van, stopping the immigration enforcement officers from being able to leave the street. Police Scotland were called to the scene at 9.55am.

The National:

As the day went on, hundreds of people from the local community started to turn up and surround the van. By lunchtime police had created a human shield around the vehicle and dozens of police riot vans blockaded each end of the street.

The protestors refused to back down, chanting “These are our neighbours, let them go” and “refugees are welcome here”.

READ MORE: The National: Our message to Unionists on this vile Home Office

When police tried to move them on, they sat down in solidarity and refused to leave until the two men were released.

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar arrived at the scene and told the crowd that the police, activists, and himself had signed an agreement and that the two men would be released into his custody.

At around 5.45pm the men were finally released from the back of the police van as protestors cheered and whooped. The large crowd then followed the police escort through the streets to Madrasa Taleem ul Islam, a mosque on nearby Nithsdale Road.

The two men, who have not yet been named, were clearly emotional and took to the top of the stairs at the mosque to thank the crowd who had refused to leave before they were let out of the van.

One said thank you in Punjabi, while the other man, wearing a white puffer jacket, said: “Thank you my friends, thank you to all the people, thank you very, very much.”

The mass of protestors lining the street erupted into cheers and chats at the victory.

One resident of Kenmure Street, David Miller, 54, sparked a different huge cheer of applause when he dropped a banner from his window which read “If this is Team UK we reject it” at the height of the nine-hour stand off.

Speaking to The National, Miller pointed out that picking Eid – the religious holiday which signifies the end of Ramadan – to do the dawn raid in a heavily Muslim community did not go down well with residents.

READ MORE: Home Office asked to reopen asylum consultation that ‘silenced’ devolved nations

He said: “I went out and bought a loaf of bread, came back and saw it was worse, and thought what small thing can I do? I suffer from some ill-health so I wanted to do something practical.

“What I’d really like to do is, if it’s Priti Patel at the top of this chain, is to take her for a walk down Kenmure Street and let her know what the people around here think about what the policies do.

“The really important thing is – who actually spoke to someone who understands the community and how predictable was it that this was a bad day to do it?”

Another local resident, who did not want to be named, said: “They picked the wrong day and the wrong community.”

The National:

Earlier in the day, protestors reacted in horror as a woman was detained after a row with officers over a parked silver Skoda which was blocking a police van from being able to move. When a removal vehicle turned up to tow it away, police officers could be seen pushing the crowd back as they removed the woman.

Locals followed the police asking to let her go, but she was put into a van at the end of the street.

Last night, Police Scotland said: “In order to protect the safety, public health and well-being of all people involved in the detention and subsequent protest in Kenmure Street, Pollokshirelds today, Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland has, following suitable risk assessment, taken the operational decision to release the men detained by UK Immigration Enforcement back into their community meantime.”

A spokesman for the Home Office said that the two men had been released on bail.

He said: “The UK Government is tackling illegal immigration and the harm it causes, often to the most vulnerable people by removing those with no right to be in the UK.”

“The operation in Glasgow was conducted in relation to suspected immigration offences and the two Indian nationals complied with officers at all times”