JUSTICE for every single asylum seeker in Glasgow.

That was the call at last night's demonstration by Stand Up To Racism as around 50 people gathered for a peaceful protest outside the Home Office's Brand Street centre.

Holding signs calling for an end to hotel detention in Glasgow, protestors lined the street in Govan to demand a change to how those seeking asylum in the city are treated.

Glasgow Times:

It is the third such demonstration in recent weeks but comes after Badreddin Abadlla Adam, a 28-year-old from Sudan, was shot dead by police after stabbing six people at the Park Inn Hotel.

Mears, which has the Home Office contract to arrange accommodation for those seeking asylum in Glasgow, housed around 300 people at the Park Inn.

Robina Qureshi, executive director of Positive Action in Housing, said: "It's like a pressure cooker in there, I was told.

"This is not people on holiday, this is people who have come here fleeing for their lives and who have their own stories.

"But you have a Home Office where there is a culture of disbelief 'You're not here to seek refuge; prove that you're a genuine refugee.'"

Speaking to the crowd of supporters at the demonstration, Robina paid tribute to the bravery of police officer PC David Whyte, who was among those injured in last Friday's incident.

She said: "He went in to save people's lives and for that I want to express our gratitude."

When the Covid-19 lockdown began, asylum seekers in the city were moved into hotels and had their daily allowance of £5.39 stopped.

This meant they could not top up phones and stopped them buying toiletries or extra food.

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Charities and MPs have questioned the decision to move people to hotels with concerns raised about vulnerable people being left isolated.

On May 5, Adnan Elbi, 30-year-old Syrian refugee, died at Mclays Guest House in Glasgow.

At an earlier protest, on May 17 in George Square in Glasgow, asylum seekers and supporters protesting against these conditions were attacked by far-right counter-demonstrators.

Robina added: "If we say that black lives matter, it is not that white lives don't matter, it is that black lives aren't being respected and that is what we are fighting for here.

"This is about the failure of duty of care to everybody in the city.

"By dumping people in hotels all across the city they didn't just put your lives in danger, they put everybody's lives in danger.

"These are now hotspots of potential viruses. You are not able to buy hand sanitiser.

"Put people back into their homes. You evicted people from their homes forcibly with half an hour's notice. Put them back in their homes."

Hekma Yagoub is from Sudan but has been living in Glasgow for the past two years.

The human rights lawyer attended the evening's protest because, she said, she "wanted to grieve our loss".

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Her impassioned calls from the crowd lead to her being invited to speak.

Hekma said: "I needed to vent out my anger and I was thinking of going to the Home Office to protest on my own but that's really risky and so when I heard about the protest this evening, I was relieved to know there are other people who want to do this too.

"I wanted to send my condolences to Badreddin's family and let them know that a lot of people are feeling their suffering.

"The shooting last Friday was a continuation of racism against people who are vulnerable, who have no power, and it is an outrage and it is not new but it is still shocking.

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"It is just horrifying that someone has been shot dead.

"Some parts of the media have been very bad in not referring to us as human beings. 'Asylum seeker' is not a name, it's a political status.

"To refer to someone as an asylum seeker is dehumanising. Others have referred to him as a 'knife man'.

"We need to call him by his name."

Stand Up To Racism is now making six demands of the Home Office and Mears.

Glasgow Times:

They include an immediate end to hotel detention of asylum seekers; decent residential housing for all asylum seekers; immediate restoration of the basic allowance of £5.39 per day; and proper vulnerability checks for asylum seekers to identify mental health needs.

The group is also calling for the speeding up of people’s asylum cases so they are not left waiting, and for a public inquiry into the Home Office procurement processes which have led to hotel housing being used in Glasgow.