Business owners and restaurant staff will be shutting Chinatown down for five hours to protest an immigration raid which happened on 5 July and resulted in a deaf and mute woman being taken to hospital.
The walk-out has been organised the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) which said that immigration officers acted with “unreasonable aggression” when the elderly lady lay down in front of an immigration van on 5 July in protest.
The incident was documented in a video that went viral but has since been removed. The video shows a van moving forward as a crowd tries to push it back to allow the woman to crawl out from under it.
The LCCA claimed that the woman was “manhandled” and “handcuffed” by immigration officers and after two hours the area was declared a crime scene, and the woman taken to hospital.
Jonathan Wu, chief executive of the LCCA, said that the community was “willing to engage in positive dialogue” with the government, but claimed that the Home Office was “fishing” for illegal immigrants and saw businesses in the area as an “easy target”. He also claimed the raids were not intelligence-led and that Home Office officials visited without warrants.
The LCCA and businesses from the community will close from 12pm to 5pm on 24 July as they march in a peaceful protest to the Home Office in Westminster.
A spokesperson for the Home Office refuted the claims and said: “Immigration enforcement visits are all intelligence-led and conducted using lawful powers. Officers do not conduct ‘fishing exercises’.”