Stansted Airport closed its runway on Tuesday evening as police tried to clear out protesters who had surrounded a parked plane carrying 8 deportees.
Activists said they were attempting to keep a “mass deportation charter flight” used to remove failed asylum seekers grounded at the Essex airport, according to The Guardian.
Several flights had to be diverted during the incident and some aircrafts had to circle near the airport.
Flights resumed late Tuesday evening.
A statement from the activists said 14 protesters from End Deportations, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Plane Stupid had surrounded the plane.
It said their target was a “mass deportation ’charter flight’ to Nigeria and Ghana”.
A Facebook page called ‘Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations’ broadcast live from the protest.
Susan James, from Plane Stupid, said: “Mass deportations like the one we stopped tonight are immoral, unfair and illegal.”
“I don’t want to stay silent in the face of mass deportations that are deliberately rushed and secretive.
“In the wake of the Brexit vote, this government is more keen than ever to be seen to be ‘tough’ on immigration.
“But its mass deportations have devastating human consequences. Everything about these deportations points to the fact that they are inhuman, and must be stopped.”
One woman who the activists said was on the flight was quoted as saying: “My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me. If he kills me- who will look after my children?”
Another male deportee was quoted as saying: “I have been in this country for almost 18 years. My family and my life is here in the UK. If they take me back to Ghana I will kill myself.”
The Home Office refused to comment on the scheduled flight from Stansted but said deportations were an “essential element” of an “effective immigration system.”
Sending people away to die doesn’t seem like a very effective system for anything except death. Unfortunately, many people believe that others deserve to die because they were born in a different country.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)