Just Stop Oil bid to block first migrants from returning to Bibby Stockholm barge

19 October 2023, 13:31 | Updated: 19 October 2023, 14:19

Just Stop Oil protesters stopped the coach trying to take migrants back to the Bibby Stockholm barge
Just Stop Oil protesters stopped the coach trying to take migrants back to the Bibby Stockholm barge. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Asher McShane

Just Stop Oil protesters tried to block the first asylum seekers from returning to the Bibby Stockholm barge two months after it was evacuated after legionella was found on board.

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The group unfurled a banner that read "No Prison Ships" and tried to halt the coach of migrants.

They managed to temporarily halt the coach, which had around 30 migrants on board.

The vehicle moved forward as the protesters pushed back against it before sitting down on the tarmac.

JSO block Bibby Stockholm migrant coach

Just Stop Oil said the group were "repeatedly driven into, resulting in them leaving the carriageway for their own safety."

Two people were arrested.

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Migrants return to the barge today
Migrants return to the barge today. Picture: Alamy

A Just Stop Oil spokesman said: “We know that our government’s plan for new oil and gas is going to lead to more people being displaced from their homes. Forced from where they have lived for generations due to the actions of our failing politicians.

"People coming to the UK must be met with common humanity, and not housed in prison ships. This is a slide towards concentration camps and we will not let it happen, not on our watch. We are taking action today to show love and solidarity with all people coming to this country."

On the return of migrants to the barge, a Home Office spokesperson said: "The government is committed to ending the use of expensive hotels for asylum seekers.

"Moving asylum seekers into alternative accommodation sites, such like the Bibby Stockholm, is more affordable for taxpayers and more manageable for communities, with on-site healthcare and catering facilities.”

It emerged yesterday that the co-founders of Just Stop Oil were arrested in dawn raids.

Roger Hallam, 57, and Indigo Rumbelow, 29, were held at separate addresses after officers “forced entry to their homes, searched belongings and confiscated papers,” Just Stop Oil said in a statement.

Footage shared by the group shows Mr Hallam being led away by police while giving a thumbs up and saying ‘all good.’

A spokesman for Just Stop Oil said: “Just Stop Oil supporters have vowed to continue with their plans to march in London every day from Oct 30 despite the dawn raid arrests of two co-founders this morning.

“We will not be intimidated by our criminal Government. By maxing out our oil and gas reserves, they are complicit in the greatest crime in human history. New oil and gas will result in unimaginable suffering and destroy the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “A 29-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man were arrested in London on the morning of Wednesday, Oct 18 on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. They both remain in custody.”