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Movement for Justice in Brixton

On 14 January 2017, a march organised by non-profit group Movement for Justice made its way through Brixton in protest of the UK Home Office’s ongoing practice of mass deportations via chartered flights.

Chartered flights are at the centre of the Home Office’s ‘Operation Majestic’: a tactic of hiring private aircraft to forcibly remove up to 100 asylum seekers from the UK at a time. According to information from Movement for Justice, ‘[k]nown Home Office charter flights currently operate to Nigeria, Ghana, Pakistan and Albania, whilst it looks incredibly likely that charter flights will start up again to Afghanistan. These charter flights have been known to stop off in other countries within the EU, such as Belgium, to pick up more detainees on the way.’

Operation Majestic has been anything but. Since the program’s inception in 2001, over 28,000 people have been deported on nearly 800 flights, at a cost of over £5,000 per deportee. Independent inspectors were only allowed on-board the flights starting in 2011, but only at a rate of fewer than 3 per year. Those ripped from their families in the UK and forced to return to the countries from which they’ve fled have become desperate; reports of suicide attempts prior to or after the flights are not uncommon. Information published by openDemocracy provides further and extensive heart-rending details.

Furthering its mission to fight back against the Home Office’s flagrant disregard for immigrants and asylum seekers, Movement for Justice is currently carrying out two weeks of international action in the UK, Nigeria and Jamaica, and calling for an end to these practices of mass deportation. The next demonstration will take place at the Jamaican High Commission on 17 January.

The following photographs were captured during the march through Brixton.

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 A young attendee affixes a sticker from feminist direction action collective Sisters Uncut to her bag.

A young attendee affixes a sticker from feminist direction action collective Sisters Uncut to her bag.

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 The march makes one of several stops as it moves through Brixton, expressing solidarity with community members and distributing literature about the event.

The march makes one of several stops as it moves through Brixton, expressing solidarity with community members and distributing literature about the event.

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 Traffic is held in place as the march occupies the streets.

Traffic is held in place as the march occupies the streets.

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 Traffic comes to a halt on Brixton Road as the march moves towards conclusion.

Traffic comes to a halt on Brixton Road as the march moves towards conclusion.