According to the British Born Chinese UK organization, the closure of businesses and the rally are in "response to the discriminatory conduct of immigration and police officers during and following a 'fishing raid' by immigration officers on a restaurant on Thursday, 5 July 2018."
Earlier in July, UK immigration officers clashes with protesting crowds, who perceived they were "treated with unreasonable aggression."
Joy Luck restaurant in #Chinatown is where the Home Office has confirmed 5 ppl were apprehended on July 5 — in an enforcement operation. @ukhomeoffice refuted claims it was “fishing” for immigrants, arguing the arrests were “intelligence-led” https://t.co/xgFVihdOJA pic.twitter.com/vCSHo95IYr— Zhenya (@evgenia_fili) July 24, 2018
According to the UK Home Office, an officer can enter business premises under a variety of lawful powers including when a warrant is issued, as well as when the permission by an immigration enforcement assistant director is given.
"There are serious questions about the legality of the fishing raid: we now know the immigration officers left a notice (under Section 179 of the Licensing Act) in the targeted restaurant without explaining what it meant," the Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC) said.
#Chinatown in London is shut down today (for 5 hours) as staff and business owners join the rally against measures by the British Home Office against illegal immigrants. A protester told me: “they are deliberately targetting us” https://t.co/xgFVihdOJA pic.twitter.com/UDUHay5jNb— Zhenya (@evgenia_fili) July 24, 2018
“No more illegal fishing raids. We are not saying you can’t look for illegal immigrants but you have to follow the law. If you don’t — you are stereotyping the whole Chinese community” — civil rights activist Bobby Chan said addressing the @ukhomeoffice https://t.co/xgFVihdOJA pic.twitter.com/iBDn3gAwhf— Zhenya (@evgenia_fili) July 24, 2018
Mr. CT Tang OBE, Chair of the London Chinatown Chinese Association has called on members of the community to join the protest on Tuesday to demand justice for Chinatown.
Several commentators online disagreed with the purpose and idea behind the protest.
The so-called standoff between the UK Home Office and Chinatown has been going on for years. In 2007, the Home Office reported that unannounced raids — part of the Border and Immigration Agency's (BIA) Operation Zavijava — led to over 30 arrests for illegal working