Kenmure Street Festival of Resistance

Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 May | Free
Kenmure Street and surrounding area

One year on, we are coming together to commemorate Kenmure Street’s community response to a deportation raid. This is a celebration of the unbreakable solidarity expressed by the community of Pollokshields and beyond, and our ongoing resistance to the cruelty of the war on refugees and asylum seekers.

We will occupy Kenmure Street, Maxwell Square, The Quad and the Bowling Green with music, dance, theatre, talks, panels of discussion, food sharing, activities for young people and much more!

On the morning of 13 May 2021, in the middle of Eid al-Fitr, two of our neighbours living on Kenmure Street in Pollokshields, Glasgow were taken from their home and detained by the Home Office in a van on the street. In response, neighbours and anti-racists organised a spontaneous sit-in protest, surrounded the van and occupied the street for eight hours, until they were released.

This victory made international news. It gave succour to refugees and asylum seekers who live in isolation and fear of deportation and gave confidence to anti-racist activists across the world fighting bigotry, intolerance and racist policies. It proved that ordinary people can and did stop Priti Patel and the Home Office’s war on refugees.

We welcome you to join us against racism and the inhumane treatment of those going through the immigration system reflected through its approach to detentions, evictions and deportations.

Celebrate a community coming together in solidarity!

View the programme of events below or click to download the programme


Tuesday 10, 5:00 – 7:00pm, Bowling Green
‘Street Canvas’ Come along and create banners and street pavement art welcoming refugees. Art materials provided.

Wednesday 11, 4:30 – 6:00pm, Bowling Green
Banner Making session with Pollokshields Development Agency. Create banners and artworks to decorate the bus stop on Kenmure Street which became a key focal point on the day.

Thursday 12, 5:00 – 7:00pm, Bowling Green
‘Street Canvas’ Come along and create banners and street pavement art welcoming refugees. Art materials provided.

Friday 13, 5:30pm to gather, Bus Stop in Kenmure Street
A silent vigil protest will take place on the anniversary of the victory against the Home Office. Pinar Aksu from the Maryhill Integration Network will introduce the vigil.
5:42pm was the moment of release.

Friday 13, 6:00pm, Turtle Park
A symbolic peace tree planting will take place after a short walk from Kenmure Street led by Urban Roots.

Saturday 14, 10:30am – 12:00pm, 1:00 – 3:30pm, Bowling Green
Shoot to Root Workshops with Martha Orbach for the Glasgow Seed Library. Anti-colonial activism through gardening.

Saturday 14, 11:30am – 12:30pm, The Bowling Green

Join Ruby and Storyplay Champion families from Licketyspit for a Storyplay session of imaginary play, games, rhymes and songs for 3–8-year-olds and their families! (Parents/carers must attend too, older and younger siblings are welcome). Licketyspit is a leading children’s theatre company delivering children’s rights through play! Our inclusive intergenerational Storyplay sessions take place in communities across Glasgow and online.

Saturday 14, 12:00 – 4:00pm, Kenmure Street
Kenmure Street will be full of pro-refugee and migrant support stalls by local and national organisations.

Saturday 14, 12:00 – 12:45pm, Stepping Stones Park
Talk and discussion by Pollokshields Food Point on psychologically informed environments versus the hostile environment – the benefits for Pollokshields.

Saturday 14, 1:00 – 4:30pm, Maxwell Square Park: Love Music Hate Racism Stage
Music MIN Choir; Attan-Afghan Dancing; Musicians In Exile; Magic & Maverick (aka John from Colonel Mustard and Ant from DopeSickFly); and, Brass Aye!
Speakers Sabir Zazai, Scottish Refugee Council; Alison Thewliss MP; Patrick Harvie MSP; Aamer Anwar, Human Rights Lawyer; Mohamed Asif, Afghan Human Rights Foundation; Tabassum Niahmet, The Pollokshields Trust; Fiona Crombie, Freedom from Torture; Selina Hales ls Refuweegee; Paul Sweeney MSP; Speaker from MIN Voices; and, Students from St Albert’s Primary School. Compared by Sarra Wasu from the Scottish Arab Women’s Association and Zineerha Ali from Stand Up To Racism.

Saturday 14, 1:00 – 3:00pm, Maxwell Square Park
Free food kindly provided by Pollokshields FoodPoint, The Gurdwara and Soul Food Sisters.

Saturday 14, 2:00 – 3:00pm, Bus Stop Kenmure Street
Zia-ul-quran Madrassa kindly providing teas and coffees.

Saturday 14, 12:30 – 4:00pm, East Pollokshields Quad
A host of community activities throughout the day. Big Noise performing from 3:00pm.

Saturday 14, 1.30 – 4:00pm, Stepping Stones Park
The Village Storytelling Centre will be sharing folk tales about resistance and the power of people to come together and challenge the status quo. All stories will be family-friendly and you can stay for as much or as little as you like!

Saturday 14, 12.30 – 4:00pm, Maxwell Square Park
A memory table where people will be invited to reflect and write down or draw their memories and emotions about the protest to create a visual arts memory book which will be open to the public and kept at Govanhill Baths Community Trust.

Saturday 14, 2:00 – 4:00pm, Maxwell Square Park
Sunflower seed planting with Urban Roots and We All Belong to remember refugees that have died fleeing their homes.

Saturday 14, 2:30pm, Shields Community Garden, Shields Health & Care Centre
Freedom from Torture is taking a Human Library approach to hold a community discussion through lived experienced stories of individuals who were victims of torture. Please join us in promoting dialogue, reducing prejudices and encouraging understanding.

Saturday 14, 3:30 – 4:00pm, Bowling Green
Launch: Join Unity Sisters and Govanhill Baths Community Trust for the launch of the ‘No Radio Silence’ educational resource. This is a companion e-book to the film No Radio Silence, offering meaningful class activities to develop understanding of issues involving refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

Saturday 14, 1:00 – 4:00pm, Maxwell Square Park Basketball Court
Children’s art activities led by St Albert’s Primary School.

Saturday 14, 7:00 – 9:00pm, Bowling Green
Celebrating Diversity music and dance event led by The Pollokshields Trust. Family-friendly all welcome.

Stalls Throughout Kenmure Street: Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights • Community Infosource • Freedom From Torture • Glasgow Trades Union Council • Govan Community Project • Honorary Scotians • JustRight Scotland •  Love Music Hate Racism (inc music) • Maryhill Integration Network • Migrants for Racial Equality • Refugees for Justice • Refuweegee • Scottish Refugee Council • Scottish Yemeni Foundation • Stand Up To Racism • Unity Sisters



Festival Partners