ID Cards Protest at Brand Street

Guy Fawkes says \'Down With This Sort of Thing\'Protesters gathered outside the UK Borders Agency office in Brand Street, Govan to protest against the introduction of ID cards for non-EU citizens wishing to apply for student or marriage visas.

The demonstration was organised by action group Glasgow Anarchists who fear the cards will make it easy to steal a person identity and will be the iceberg in the creation of a national identity card scheme

On Tuesday November 25 the biometric ID cards came into force across the UK. They will contain a photograph linked to a fingerprint and personal details of the holder.

Action groups including NO2ID, No Borders Scotland and UNITY showed their support at the demonstration. Each card will cost £30.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: ‘The first ID cards are being issued to people making applications to remain in the UK as a student or based on marriage. This will be followed in 2009, by identity cards for British workers in sensitive roles and locations and extended to young people in 2010.’

They added: ‘This national identity scheme will help protect against identity fraud, illegal working and immigration, crime and terrorism, and those trying to abuse positions of trust. It will make it easier for people to prove they are who they say they are.’

But two students who were at the demonstration are not convinced.

Steph Spoto of California is at Edinburgh University and will have to apply for a card to remain in the country. She said: ‘This is just awful, I hate the idea. I love Scotland and want to be able to continue working here. I am mainly concerned by the database which will hold the information – we really have no idea who will have access to it.’

Stephen Dietrich, who is studying Human Ecology at Strathclyde University and volunteers at UNITY, a support base for asylum seekers,  said: ‘This is identity theft made easy. I am not convinced about the security of the database.’

A spokesperson for Glasgow Anarchists said: ‘We are very suspicious of the ID cards. If your card is lost or stolen, essentially, you will have lost your identity.’

Similar demonstrations were held across the UK at six Border Agency offices, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Croydon.

Vinicombe Street Garage Meeting

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News


Around 40 campaigners trying to save the threatened Vinicombe Street Botanic Gardens garage from demolition and redevelopment proposed by owners Arnold Clark Automobiles, were urged to lodge new objections to the new planning applications.

Said Dr Sam Maddra, chair of the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group: ‘This garage is at risk of being demolished. Thanks to the efforts of our campaign, it has been A listed which means its importance is nationally and internationally recognised. Demolition is unthinkable. But people must lodge objections again because this is a new application for planning permission. All previous objections are no longer relevant because  they apply only to that previous application.’

Ann Laird of Friends of Glasgow West, a voluntary amenity society, gave detailed advice on how to frame objections. ‘It is a little like being at a wedding when the question is asked  – ‘does anyone here know of any legal impediment to thsi marriage?’ – It is not a case of you don’t want the marriage to go ahead because you don’t like the idea. You must have objections which can stand up in law.

She pointed out that there was an application to demolish the Vinicombe Street garage, leaving the facade and there was a separate application for a new building. ‘It is a technical game, but you must lodge objections to both applications. That can be done in the one letter.’

The meeting, held in Hillhead Library community hall, was chaired by Jean Charsley who is chair of Hillhead Community Council. She urged everyone to spread the word and lodge objections. ‘This development is contrary to the City Plan for the area.’

According to Ann Laird, if there was no public fuss over the intentions of Arnold Clark, ‘Glasgow City Council just might let them do what they want to do.’

A spokeswoman for Arnold Clark told the LOCAL NEWS the company had no comment to make. She explained that when an application was going through the planning process, the applicant was inhibited from making any comment as the planning authorities could take exception to their decision being pre-empted in any way.

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The Botanic Gardens Garage in Vinicombe Street off Byres Road is the oldest surviving multi-storey car park in the UK. It was built between 1896 and 1912 and was designed by David Valentine Wyllie. Efforts by the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage campaign resulted in the premises being ‘A’ listed. The building is owned by Arnold Clark Automobiles. The company has submitted a new application to Glasgow City Council’s planning department for partial demolition and redevelopment of the A-listed structure.

Pressure from the campaigners a year ago, resulted in Arnold Clark Automobiles withdrawing its initial application to demolish the garage and build flats and retail units on the site. A new application has been made by the company which again shows that the garage buildings would be demolished and replaced by a four-storey complex for mixed residential, leisure and retail use but saving the facade.