The civil liberties and human rights organisation Liberty responsed to the Home Office’s 'Go home' vans by putting its own van on the streets of London yesterday (6 August 2013).
The Home Office has recently sent vans bearing the slogan “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest” to several of London’s multi-ethnic boroughs
Liberty says the message has racist connotations and mirrors National Front slogans from the 1970s. The Home Office has also been criticised for carrying out what appear to be spot-check immigration 'fishing expeditions' in ethnically diverse areas of the country.
Today,(6 August) a van carrying Liberty’s response took to London’s streets with the alternative slogan "Stirring up tension and division in the UK illegally? Home Office, think again".
The Liberty van toured the Home Office, Westminster and the surrounding area in the morning and visited Kensal Green and Walthamstow – two of the London boroughs targeted during the spot-checks – in the afternoon.
Liberty believes the Home Office use of “Go Home” Billboards is deeply offensive and divisive, in breach of the Equality Act 2010 and therefore unlawful.
The organisation also believes that the Home Office does not have legal authority for the type of speculative immigration spot-checks currently being carryied out. Its billboard therefore urges anyone stopped during the recent street operations to get in touch with Liberty at: email@example.com.