In 2013, the organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games announced that the demolition of Glasgow’s infamous Red Road flats would form the grand finale of the Games’ Opening Ceremony. Where had once been a symbol of Glasgow’s ’regeneration’ from its post-industrial past, they had more recently been known for their decline.
On Wednesday night, peaceful demonstrations by asylum seekers protesting pandemic accommodation conditions were disrupted by far-right groups, who occupied Glasgow’s George Square and prevented the protest from going ahead.
Housing for asylum seekers and persons granted international protection is a contested issue. The state relies on local municipalities to settle refugees, and on the other hand, local governments experience housing shortages and need to make decisions how to prioritise between different groups in need of apartments.
On 29 July 2018, private asylum accommodation provider, Serco, announced that with one day’s notice, they would be changing the locks on up 300 residences occupied by asylum seekers whose applications had been refused by the Home Office. The decision has been met with shock and anger both by Glasgow City Council and by the third sector and community networks that support refugees in Glasgow.