A man released without charge after a week in detention as one of the latest batch of police “terror suspects” has branded Britain as “a police state for Muslims”. Abu Bakr, one of nine men arrested in high-profile raids in Birmingham on January 31, made the comment on the BBC Newsnight program following his release on February 7. One other man was released along with Bakr; another seven are still being held in police custody.
More than 200,000 public service workers in the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) held a nationwide strike on January 31, which is being followed by a two-week overtime ban. The February 1 Morning Star reported that the action hit 200 government departments, halted important court cases and paralysed passport offices, benefit centres, and tax offices. In addition, the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff was forced to abandon proceedings, and in London the British Library, Tate Modern and Tate Britain were closed.
Early morning on September 5 security guards burst into the sleeping quarters of Colnbrook immigration detention centre in west London. The guards had come to take 32 Iraqi Kurdish men away. Barefoot, handcuffed, with the guards swearing at them, the 32 were taken to RAF Brize Norton airforce base. Their threatened forced deportation to Arbil in northern Iraq was imminent.