The dropping of counter-terror charges against the fifteen activists from End Deportations who blocked the takeoff of a flight deporting people to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone in 2017 is a victory for determined campaigning and for solidarity.
The judge said that “the appellants should not have been prosecuted for the extremely serious offence” contained in a section of the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act – a law passed in response to the Lockerbie bombing, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Among the deportees on the 2017 flight were victims of human trafficking. Eleven are now living legally in the UK.
After the end of their four-year struggle, the Stansted 15 have pointed out that “for many people caught up in the UK immigration system the ordeal lasts much, much longer. In the middle of a global pandemic the government is still locking people in detention centres and brutally forcing people onto secret night flights, often to places they don’t know…
“To help us move closer to something that truly represents justice we need to challenge the cruel and racist logic that builds prisons and borders. That means stopping all deportation charter flights, closing all detention centres and ending automatic deportation of people who have been convicted of a crime. It means migrants should have the right to welfare support and not to be forced to live in appalling conditions or forced into unnecessary and dangerous reporting. It means dismantling the Home Office and enabling free movement for all.”
They have called for donations to the Care4Calais fundraiser for migrants held in Napier barracks.
We need to build this fight in the labour movement too: www.labourfreemovement.org