On Tuesday 25th November 2008, the day when UK identity cards for foreign nationals were introduced, a number of groups from around the north west gathered at the Liverpool immigration centre in Reliant House, 20 Water Street. This was one of a series of demonstrations at immigration centres around the UK.
People from NO2ID, Defy-ID and No Borders were present, among with the Rhythms of Resistance band. Spirits were high, and the groups had a very positive demonstration. Most demonstrators were wearing barcodes strung around their necks. The public reaction was mixed but mostly positive, with people coming from surrounding streets to observe the demonstration and talk to people about the issues surrounding identity cards and immigration. People queuing at the centre itself were also keen to discuss these issues and their concerns. Many seemed unaware of the Government's new scheme. The demonstration ran from before its official noon start to beyond its official 1pm finish, finally disbanding closer to 2pm. Local politicians were in attendance, including the heads of the Liberal and Green council groups, and the national chair of UKIP.
A lot of Liverpool press were in attendance, including Daily Post journalists, in addition to some pre-recorded radio pieces from north-west NO2ID which were going out on the regional airwaves throughout the day. A TV crew were filming the demonstration and taking vox pops from attendees as well as interviewing the NW NO2ID co-ordinator, as educational material for GCSE Citizenship courses.
Police presence was minimal - two officers (one of whom may have been a PCSO) supplemented by a third later on, and towards the very end a fourth as a result of a fake tip-off. The police mostly restricted themselves to keeping the road outside the centre clear of the TV crews and photographers who had backed into it for a better shot.
Photos to come later; see another writeup at http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2008/11/413538.html