United Kingdom — A law-abiding, political protester has been threatened with deportation from the U.K. after he was arrested during a peaceful demonstration. Hungarian-born Daniel Gardonyi has lived in the U.K. for several years and tirelessly dedicated his time to protesting against the social cleansingand gentrification taking place across London.
Gardonyi’s peaceful resistance against entire communities being forced out of the capital due to affordable social housing being replaced with expensive private homes, has seen him participate in numerous high-profile protests.
After the Friern Barnet Library in north London was closed by Barnet council, Gardonyi and other activists occupied and re-opened the facility—restocking the shelves with donated books, while acting as librarians.
During a protest in September against evictions on the Sweets Way Estate (one of many housing estates across the London and the U.K. being sold off to private property investors), Gardonyi was one of 19 people arrested for obstructing the high court enforcers.
Shortly afterwards, the activist received a letter from the Home Office, threatening to remove him from the U.K. as part of Operation Nexus—a police and Home Office operation designed to arrest and deport criminals from other parts of the E.U. living in the U.K.
“My threatened removal from the UK for engaging in peaceful political protest has very serious implications for everyone who is engaged in legitimate and lawful protest,” Gardonyi told the Guardian.
His solicitor, Daniel Furner, said that parts of the letter from the Home Office appeared to be unlawful:“It appears that our client has been specifically and systematically targeted as a result of his peaceful, political activities in the UK.”
In what appears to be a dark time for human rights, dissent, and nonviolent protest in the U.K., Gardonyi has now been charged and is due to appear in court on December 9th.
“One hand of the government wants to push me out of the country, shut me up and push me out without any hassle. The other hand wants to put me in jail, prosecute me and prove that I am a criminal. Which one? You can’t do both,” Gardonyi declared at demonstration outside the Home Office on November 24th.
At the same demonstration, another activist explained why he is supporting Danny:
“Eviction resistances, environmental protests, community struggles, that’s what Danny is about which is probably why they want to get rid of him. I think they know perfectly well that Danny is no threat to U.K. security or that he is no threat to the general public — quite the opposite. I think what’s happening to Danny is part of a larger process of the state trying to accrue power to itself to be able to criminalise, exclude and deport anybody it likes, whenever it likes.”
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