Footage posted online showed a crowd outside a block of flats in Evan Cook Close stopping a van from leaving the scene.
Eleanor Janega, 39, from south-east London, told the PA news agency: “We were alerted that there was an immigration raid in process so locals came down to block it.
“We had been sitting here blocking the van and having ice lollies. They brought more police in and tried to break through the crowd by pushing us. We all sat down.”
Southwark councillor Reginald Popoola said people had “encircled the van peacefully”, but claimed some people were shoved during the demonstration.
After 4 hours of resistance and a crowd of 200 people they’re letting our neighbour go! People power wins. We’re shouting ‘don’t come back to Peckham!’ pic.twitter.com/qRQUVAnFwf
— Lewisham Anti-Raids (@Lewisham_AR) June 11, 2022
Cllr Poppola encouraged his followers to join the demo asking people to “block the van from taking one of our neighbours”.
He later tweeted: “He’s been released! Thank you to everyone who came down at such short notice. Southwark shouldn’t tolerate illegal raids. Together, we can win!”
Police immigration raid in our ward NOW.
I’m here with over 100 others. Block the van from taking one of our neighbours - come and join us now on Evan Cook Close SE15!
— Reginald Popoola (@ReginaldPopoola) June 11, 2022
A Met Police spokesman said: “Police were called to Evan Cook Close, SE15, on Saturday, 11 June, shortly after 13.30hrs to a report of protesters obstructing immigration officers.
“Officers attended and found a van was being prevented from leaving the location.”
They added that a man arrested “on suspicion of immigration offences” had been bailed and officers were still at the scene.
It comes as the Government faces pressure over its policy to send migrants to Rwanda.
The Times newspaper said a source had heard Prince Charles express opposition to the policy several times in private, and that he was “more than disappointed” by it.
The comments were reported after a High Court ruling paved the way for the first flight to the east African country to go ahead on Tuesday.