Jan and Euan get Married!

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Introduced by Jan and Euan

By summer 2007, the majority of international families seeking asylum in the Plean Street, Kingsway, Kirkton and Lincoln flats had been part of the community for three years or more. Some had been repeatedly refused asylum and although we had seen off dawn raids at the flats themselves, UK Immigration were detaining families at Brand Street and many individuals were being made destitute.

On the plus side, the country-wide campaign to end the detention of children and families, and demand an amnesty was continuing to impact on both the Immigration authorities and the Scottish political scene.

On the week before the wedding, and bearing in mind we had the support of all the main political parties in the Scottish Parliament, the Kingsway Amnesty Group were invited to express our concerns by the First Minister Alex Salmond and Fiona Hyslop, the education secretary. We really felt that there was a sea change.

But we were all tired out by a winter of vigils, detentions, demonstrations, visits to Dungavel and Yarl’s Wood, and by the loss of friends such as Zahra and her family as they returned to their home country because of the relentlessness of UK immigration officials.

We all needed a tonic and we like to think that our marriage was not only a family celebration but a community get-together which looking back on it now signified the beginning of the turning point for many of our international friends, all of whom have now been granted Leave to Remain.

So it was truly an international wedding with family and friends from Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Canada, England, Germany, Kurdistan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Wales and Zambia.

Captured here are some of the key moments of the whole day’s events.