The Home Office has confirmed to Migrants Organise that it is now committed to providing 7 days notice to individuals before moving them on to the Bibby Stockholm Barge.
This provides people a clearer time frame to prepare for the move and to challenge.
The confirmation was given to Migrants Organise via pre-action protocol correspondence.
Our overall position remains unchanged: the barge will never be a safe or suitable accommodation for migrants or people seeking asylum. No amount of repurposing can make it so. Read the briefing in full.
Our Legal Organiser, Brian Dikoff states. “We need appropriate, compassionate and safe infrastructure to support new people and welcome them into our communities. We need communities not cages. This is why we organise for dignity and justice for migrants and refugees.”
Read on for more information. Full briefing.
At the end of July 2023, the Home Office started issuing very short notices to individual who were going to be moved to the Bibby Stockholm barge. This left highly vulnerable people without the adequate information and representation.
Over the next 2 weeks, individuals were regularly given notices in late afternoon for a move early on the next day (or Monday morning), which did not allow them any opportunity to provide any reasons or representations if they did not believe that the Bibby Stockholm barge is a suitable accommodation for them.
In the run up to this period, Migrants Organise had been carrying our pre-litigation work against the Barge with support from the Strategic Legal Fund and with the tireless work of colleagues at Wilsons Solicitors and the counsel team at Garden Court Chambers.
We also travelled down to Portland, Dorset to deliver outreach advice and casework to many of the individuals who had been moved to the barge. As a result, many individuals were able to obtain advice and, when they wished to, challenge the notice and/or move to the barge.
We also organised and sent a pre-action protocol letter to the Home Office on August 6th 2023, followed by a supplementary letter on 18 September 2023.
On 21st September 2023 the Home Office responded to us – confirming that the Home Office will provide a minimum of 7 days to individuals before being moved onto the barge.
This was only achievable through organised work by so many different individuals, groups and organisations. We are not alone in this work, we part of a much wider community and movement of people and organisations standing up for dignity and justice. Through Legal organising we built our knowledge and power through connecting with Care4Calais, Portland Global Friendship, Doctors of the World, the Helen Bamber Foundation, other front-line charities, as well as many public law firms including Wilson Solicitors, Deighton Pierce Glynn (DPG), Public Law Project (PLP), Gold Jennings, Duncan Lewis, Simpson Millar, Lawstop and others, to triage and signpost cases.
We need your solidarity to build a broad based movement for justice. The government’s anti migrant Hostile Environment continues to harm lives and communities. In this context, there are no small victories and every act of solidarity is valued.
Here are a few ways to show solidarity:
- Portland’s mayor, Ms Carralyn Parks represented by Deighton Pierce Glynn is also challenging the use of the Bibby Stockholm barge. A permission hearing is scheduled for 10 October 2023. You can show support on social media.
- If you are in Liverpool Actions Against Detention and Deportation is organising an action on Monday 9 October 2023.
- Follow Migrants Organise on social media and join our newsletter updates. For more information about our work on the Bibby Barge contact Brian@migrantsorganise.org
- If you are in London and interested in community organising work around the issue of housing and asylum support accommodation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org