This Government’s plan to “house” people on the Bibby Stockholm will never be safe. This is why we oppose it, and this is what we’re doing about it.
The Bibby Stockholm will never be safe.
People who are here to seek safety are not pawns to be moved, detained, or imprisoned with every political whim. They are human beings deserving of safety, dignity, and a place to call home.
Barges like the Bibby Stockholm as well as ex-military barracks, de facto detention hotels are not, and never will be safe homes.
We need appropriate, compassionate and safe infrastructure to support new neighbours and welcome them into our communities. We need communities not cages. This is why we have been taking action.
A floating prison
Everyone deserves a decent home to make a life. But the Bibby Stockholm – based on Portland Port- is a precarious and unsustainable stopgap that will only cause further harm for people trying to settle in a new place.
Surrounded by a large, looming fence and barbed wire coupled with 24 hour patrolling security the barge is designed to make like miserable for vulnerable people. It’s designed to be unwelcoming, controversial and act as a very visible form of punishment. It is designed as a floating prison.
We are especially concerned that people forced to stay on the barge are not going to be able to move freely, and in effect will be detained. We are also aware of a number of vulnerable people, with serious mental health conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorders being threatened to be detained on Bibby Stockholm.
From our extensive experience with the asylum support system we know there are serious deficiencies with the Home Office’s safeguarding procedures.
The lack of fire checks is one clear example of how this Government has been comfortable with cutting corners at the expense of vulnerable people.
The billions of pounds they spend harming us could help build decent community housing and local services and in turn build better futures — instead it’s funnelled to private corporations for prison barges, hotel contracts, military barracks, detention centres and to make life as miserable as possible.
We know there is a different approach and that there is huge support for an approach of welcome, compassion and solidarity.
Safe community housing is the best solution for people who move here and our communities. Within communities, people are able to lay roots, find support systems and start to rebuild their lives.
A commitment to ‘welcome’ means holding this government, the home office, and its private contractors, accountable. Welcome means taking action.
That’s why we are connected with local organisers, organisations and councillors in Portland who are taking action in solidarity with migrants and refugees. Together alongside Wilson’s LLP and other charities and public law firms we are are committed to making sure that every individual that is threatened with de-facto detention on board Bibby has access to legal justice.
Together, we are building power to fight this government’s anti-refugee laws and its broader hostile anti-migrant agenda. We do this while also caring for our communities.
This work could not be done without you and your solidarity.
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Media Enquiries: See press release
For more info on our work on Bibby Stockholm: email@example.com