Pin It
Screenshot 2022-06-14 at 15.30.39
Courtesy of Twitter / @Lewisham_AR

We resisted an immigration raid in Peckham – and you can too

We know that this government’s hostile immigration system is hurting our communities and putting lives at risk. That’s why we’re ramping up our resistance

On the morning of Saturday June 11, neighbours in southeast London came together to stop an immigration raid in a Peckham estate. At first, it was just a dozen of us locking arms and one person laying in front of the van, to stop it from leaving. Within hours our community showed up in the hundreds, outnumbering cops and immigration officers. As we sat in the sun chanting “let him go” the message to this government was clear: we won’t stand by while our neighbours are locked up, or sent to Rwanda.

The Home Office released a statement on Saturday evening saying we can’t stop deportations – but our action on Saturday shows that when we come together, we’re stronger than them.

Lewisham Anti-Raids is a group of south Londoners building community resistance against immigration raids. Many of us are migrants ourselves or the children of immigrants. We believe that the border system is cruel and inhumane, and that people’s rights should not depend on a piece of paper. We are anti-racist, anti-detention and anti-deportations. And we are not alone: Anti-Raids networks exist all over the country. We let each other know when immigration officers are in the area and we spread knowledge of what we can all do to stop raids from taking place. Our message is clear: people who live here belong here.

Organising locally means building strong networks with business owners and residents, in person and online. We let people know what their rights are if they are harassed by immigration officers and we share information of local raids through social media.

Saturday’s beautiful resistance might seem like a drop in the ocean but it successfully challenged the Home Office and prevented someone from being detained. For us, the best way of resisting the Government’s migration policy is by building independent networks of solidarity and by challenging their ideas and actions visibly, everywhere, all the time. It tells the government we won’t accept their cruel and racist policies. Those of us who came together on Saturday were just locals living in and around Peckham - but we showed that we have the power to challenge immigration officers and protect one another, wherever they go.

We know that this government’s hostile immigration system is hurting our communities, and putting lives at risk. We won’t stand for it. That’s why, as this government ramps up its cruel policies, we’re ramping up our resistance to this country’s cruel borders.


This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the government’s (official) Hostile Environment policy. As part of the ‘Solidarity Knows No Borders’ week of action, groups up and down the country are running trainings on how to resist raids. Get involved!

We know there is an ocean of injustice and we hope to contribute by being a small drop of resistance within it. We know the struggles of migrants entering Europe do not end once you’ve crossed the border, as we are often faced with legal challenges or forced to work in exploitative conditions. To build a better, more just Europe for all, regardless of nationality, you can support groups like Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM), Docs Not Cops (a group fighting for migrants’ access to health care) or volunteer for a local charity like South London Refugee Association or donate to rescue and solidarity initiatives in the Mediterranean, like Operation Open Arms.

We also know that low-wage workers, many of whom are migrants, have been fighting back against exploitation and organising in the UK. Unions like the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and United Voices of the World (UVW) have been taking the fight to the bosses. Every organised workplace is a step forward and a living example of the power we have when we stick together.

Want help setting up your local Anti-Raids group? Get in touch with us on: or with the wider network. You can also donate to us on Paypal. If you or someone you know lacks secure status and wants free immigration advice, JCWI runs an Irregular Migrants helpline