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Edinburgh restaurant owner thanks protestors after immigration raid stopped

By Jacob Farr & Kris Gourlay

A local restaurant owner has spoken of feeling a 'sense of community' after protestors rallied to stop an immigration raid at a premises in the city centre.

Various vans were spotted parked outside Beirut restaurant, on Marshall Street, Nicolson Square, last night (Thursday).

News spread across social media about the raid - with locals gathering to congregate and protesting against the raid.

Officers were pictured outside the restaurant and Beirut owner, Yousef Nassif, thanked protestors for taking action.

He told STV News that: “It was scary, you know what I mean.

“But being surrounded by all these people makes it an emotional rather than a scary experience and you feel that sense of belonging.”

It is not known which premises was directly involved in the raid.

The Home Office confirmed that Immigration Enforcement attended an address in Potterrow in a pre-planned and intelligence-led operation.

They said two individuals were believed to have been in breach of immigration laws and were placed on immigration bail.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “It is unacceptable for people to attempt to block legitimate actions of law enforcement as they work to remove those with no right to live or work in the UK.

“Through our Nationality and Borders Act we are taking steps to fix the broken system to make it fair to those in genuine need and firm on those who seek to abuse it.

"An operation was carried out in Edinburgh today and to suggest that protesters had an impact on the outcome is wrong.”

They say that appropriate legal protocol was followed and the operation was intelligence led with Police Scotland notified about the operation in advance.

The Home Office thanked Police Scotland for their assistance.

On Twitter, various accounts alerted Edinburgh locals to the incident.

Edinburgh anti-raids tweeted: "Immigration officers spotted at Nicolson Square near Beirut - please go and see what help can be offered - some general advice on filming and gathering evidence here."

One eyewitness reported seeing over 100 people gathering. They added: "There are two vans reportedly immigration vans from the Government here, one black, one silver, protestors are jumping on top of them screaming: "no justice, no peace, f*** the police."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 6.45pm on Thursday, 5 May, 2022, police were made aware of a group of people gathering on Potterrow, Edinburgh."

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Dive Deeper:
Edinburgh Police scramble to mass protest over restaurant 'immigration raid'
Various vans have been spotted parked outside Beirut, in Nicolson Square, this evening, May 5, with locals spotted protesting the…
Scots gather to block Home Office ‘immigration raid’ at Edinburgh restaurant with police called
Police Scotland confirmed they are also in attendance to monitor the large crowd that gathered shortly before 7pm close to…
Two people on bail after 'immigration raid' protest in Edinburgh
TWO people have been placed on immigration bail following a Home Office operation which saw protesters gather in Edinburgh.
Two people on immigration bail after Edinburgh locals gather to block Home Office ‘raid’
News of an alleged 'immigration raid' spread on social media, sparking a crowd of protesters to descend on the capital's…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Nicolson Square: Home Office vans aiming to deport immigrants seen off by huge protest
Home Office deportation vans had to be escorted away by police after hundreds of Scottish people blocked them in during…
Protesters 'force Home Office to abandon immigration raid in Edinburgh'
HOME Office officials allegedly in Edinburgh for an immigration raid have been forced to leave without detaining anyone after locals…
Get all your news in one place