Chinatown is shut down for five-hour strike over immigration raids
Hundreds of protesters marched to Downing Street
24 July, 2018 — By Tom Foot
The protest in Chinatown today
CHINATOWN has been shut down during a five-hour strike over “heavy-handed” police raids.
The Justice for Chinatown protest has been triggered by a series of controversial immigration raids in recent months.
On July 5 a woman protester was man-handled by officers, according to the London Chinatown Chinese Association.
Film footage of the raid, outside Joy Luck restaurant, has emerged online sparking outrage that fired the protest this afternoon.
Hundreds of striking workers marched around Lisle Street and Gerrard Street blowing whistles, chanting slogans and holding placards saying “no heavy-handed policing” and “no fishing raids”.
There has been criticism of immigration control for targeting restaurants randomly, rather than acting on specific intelligence.
The protest moved down Charing Cross Road, stopping traffic in Trafalgar Square before a lively rally outside Downing Street. Restaurants had large closed signs in the windows explaining the reasons for the strike.
A statement from the London Chinatown Chinese Association said: “Not only were staff members at the restaurant treated with unreasonable aggression and handcuffed, a deaf and mute woman who started a peaceful protest by lying on the road was manhandled and nearly run over by an immigration van.”
The Home Office has said that on July 5 they had been obstructed from carrying out investigations by protesters that saw five illegal workers arrested, adding: “While we respect the public’s right to protest, it is important that any demonstrations do not obstruct our officers.”