Over 60 people attended our protest against the introduction of Biometric ID Cards for non-EU students and spouses on Tuesday. The demonstration was held for a couple of hours at midday outside the Cardiff office of the UK Border Agency at 31-33 Newport Road. People the government is forcing to carry ID cards will have to attend this centre for interrogation, photographing and fingerprinting.
We displayed banners, held placards, waved giant mock ID cards and distributed 600 copies of this leaflet – the reaction from passers by was completely supportive. Many people used their lunchbreak to join the protest for a short while before returning to work or study. This protest was part of a nationwide day of action outside UKBA centres by No Borders Network who, along with Defy ID, NO2ID and other groups, held protests in Croydon, Liverpool, Glasgow, Solihull, and Newcastle. Though many of these protests around the country got into local newspapers, Welsh media coverage has been minimal.
This protest appears to be just the start of resistance to ID Cards, the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has threatened industrial action if the government goes ahead with it’s plan to impose ID cards on airport workers next year. Tens of thousands of people have signed up to NO2ID’s pledge not to register for a card, even if that means going to prison. No Borders South Wales will be protesting outside the Border agency again, on Wednesday 10th December when the Cardiff office will start to register people, join us if you can.
“These new ID cards are not only a repressive measure against non-EU students and spouses, they are the first shot in an attack against everyone’s liberty. In targeting a largely voiceless migrant group, who have the least chance to complain and the most to lose, the government is following a familiar path of repressive regimes throughout history. Immigration law already gives the Home Office powers it would like to exert over everybody. By resisting the repression of migrants, we defend the freedom of everyone! “