No Floating Prisons - united against the Bibby Stockholm and the Immigration Bill
This following Sunday 21st of May, at 3pm, a protest against the Bibby Stockholm - a huge barge which the UK Home Office plans to use as a floating prison - will take place in London. The demonstration, organised by Reclaim The Sea and Europe Must Act, aims to gather thousands of people outside the Home Office to symbolically deliver the letter. There will also be a parallel protest in Falmouth, the location where the Bibby Stockholm is about to undergo refurbishment.
This protest is being launched off the back of an open letter that Reclaim The Sea circulated last Thursday 11/05 , which has gathered 58 organisational signatures - amongst them- Doctors Without Borders (MSF) UK, Safe Passage, Forensic Architecture, Migrants Rights Network, Channel Rescue and Detention Action - and up to 427 individual signatures.
Tigs Louis-Puttick, founder, Reclaim The Sea: “Most asylum-seekers and people on the move have experienced sea-related trauma on one or multiple occasions. To house them in a floating prison barge risks retraumatising people who are already vulnerable and deserve our solidarity and support, not hate and hostility."
A spokesperson from Cornwall Resists, who are co-organising the Falmouth protest stated that “The ship is a floating human rights violation. When it was previously used to detain refugees, people died and there were numerous amounts of abuse reported. We must come together in a collective effort to refuse to accept the British government's racist border violence".
Paula Llopis, Communications Co-Coordinator, Europe Must Act "EMA asks the UK Home Office for humane and long-term housing solutions that will help people on the move (PoM) settle in the UK. By putting PoM on a boat, the government is pushing a red line, moving fast-forward towards absurd and inhumane policies. PoM seeking safety and a better life in the UK must have access to dignifying options and to fully access the asylum procedure.”
The #NoFloatingPrisons open letter is available and people can sign until The Friday 19th May, and it will be symbolically ‘delivered’ to the Home Office during the protest. You can check the protest poster on Reclaim The Sea’ social media or following this link.
Notes for Editors
Reclaim The Sea is a nonprofit organisation that bases their activities off the vision of the sea as a safe space for all. They believe in safe passage and true welcome instead of policies that uphold dangerous sea borders and the hostile environment. Beyond their political work, they teach refugees to swim and surf in order to enable them to reclaim the sea as a safe space when it has been one of trauma. This year, three women who participated in the 2022 programme - from Ukraine, Iran and El Salvador - are undergoing their training to become qualified Stand Up Paddleboard instructors. This makes them the world’s first refugee paddleboard instructors. They are also available for interview on request. For more, visit: https://www.reclaimthesea.org.uk/.
Europe Must Act (EMA) is a growing grassroots movement, bringing together volunteers and NGOs to campaign for the humane, dignified and legal reception of refugees in Europe. EMA was established in March 2020 by a group of volunteers on the Greek Aegean islands of Chios and Samos in response to the ever-worsening situation of the hotspot camps. For more information about EMA, please visit https://www.europemustact.org/about-us.
Further comments are available.
Protest Poster : https://twitter.com/Reclaim_The_Sea/status/1657692409671630849
Open letter: Read the open letter here
Tigs Louis-Puttick, Founder, Reclaim the Sea
email@example.com | www.reclaimthesea.org.uk
Paula Llopis, Communications Co-Coordinator, Europe Must Act
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.europemustact.org
Elsa Beau, Communications Co-Coordinator and Raising Voices Coordinator, Europe Must Act