On the 13 May 2021 two of men living on Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, Glasgow, were taken from their home by the UK Home Office. They were detained in a van on the street. Spontaneously, neighbours amassed and prevented the van leaving by sitting in the road. Word spread quickly and the number of protestors grew to occupy the street. As a result of this action, both men, Sumit Sehdev and Lakhvir Singh, were released and so created a moment no one will forget. The two men were freed and that was the last raid to date; It was a stunning and inspiring victory for antiracists and campaigners.
One year on, we are coming together to commemorate Kenmure Street’s community response to this deportation raid. This will be a celebration of the unbreakable solidarity expressed by the community of Pollokshields and our ongoing resistance to the cruelty of the war on refugees and asylum seekers. We will occupy Kenmure Street and surrounding areas with music, dance, theatre, talks, panels of discussion, food sharing, activities for young people and much more.
We are expecting thousands of people to visit Kenmure Street. The street will be closed, banners will hang, bands and musicians will be playing for free in a local park, children will be painting a mural, international guests will be speaking about similar actions in their countries.
To make this all possible though we need support to provide essential facilities, equipment and resources to make the festival a safe and successful one. In so doing we will continue the impact of that local and community action and make sure it helps make real lasting change in Glasgow and beyond.
To find out how you can donate and support the festival, please click to visit our Crowdfunder page.