A MAN who blocked an immigration enforcement van from removing two men in Pollokshields yesterday has said he was "proud" to be part of the response.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he was able to buy time for supporters to arrive at the scene - culminating in the two men, Sumit Sehdev and Lakhvir Singh, being released.

A photograph of him underneath the immigration van on Kenmure Street, where he lay for more than eight hours, made headlines across the country yesterday.

He said: "I’m proud to be part of Glasgow’s No Evictions Network, which gave me the training and confidence I needed to respond in a moment of crisis.

"We’re obviously thrilled with our friends’ release, but we can’t ignore that things were on a knife-edge there.

"Police Scotland brought in reinforcements, and when that didn’t work they brought in horses, and when that didn’t work they brought in riot gear.

"Officers kept insisting they were there to preserve public safety, but they were the only threat of violence that day: they were absolutely ready to go in mob-handed and clear the road even though the crowd included children and the elderly, and many were literally standing outside their own doorsteps.

"It just goes to show how these 'hostile environment' policies start off criminalising migrants, but quickly turn on anyone else who stands in the government’s way.

"It’s not often that you catch raids in the act like this, but the South Side has a lot of folks pulling together - our anarchists look out for our queer communities, our queer communities look out for our migrant communities and so on.

"All this began with someone on their way to work spotting an enforcement van and posting it to their Facebook groups - from there the scenes at 5pm were inevitable; I was just buying time for people to get there.

"But only because our neighbourhoods already put in the work to organise and share information."

Glasgow Times:

Sumit and Lakhvir said yesterday they were happy to have chosen Glasgow as their home, given the strength of the crowds who turned out to support them.

A representative for the No Evictions Network added: "The only way that day could have ended was with our neighbours’ release; there were simply too many local people standing in the street for the police to have taken the van away.

"The strategy does work - and we want the world to understand that it was the people on the streets who won that victory, not the politicians.

"No one should be snatched from their home and imprisoned, simply for having the wrong papers - whether they’re seeking asylum, or are an economic migrant, or simply suffer a bureaucratic mix-up.

"Yesterday’s community defence felt historic, but it shouldn’t feel unique - any community anywhere could respond that way, if they set up dedicated community groups on social media and seek out training and support from anti-deportation activists."

Anyone looking to support the work of the No Evictions Network in Glasgow can donate at this Go Fund Me