02 May 2024

Protesters block coach in bid to stop migrants being moved to Bibby Stockholm

02 May 2024

Protesters blocking a coach set to take asylum seekers to the Bibby Stockholm barge have been warned by police they face arrest.

A large group of people, many with their faces covered, surrounded the dark-coloured coach near the Best Western Hotel in Peckham, south London, on Thursday morning.

Pictures showed police officers surrounding the coach and removing several protesters while others joining the demonstration sat in the road. In other images, the coach is seen to have a flat tyre.

Welfare group SOAS Detainee Support posted on X calling for more people to help them stop the coach leaving but said the protesters were “determined” it would not. They believe it is set to take asylum seekers to the floating accommodation in Portland, Dorset.

The posts said: “Comrades have stopped our friends being taken to the Bibby barge – but more numbers needed!

“We’ve also learned the coach is meant to be taking people from three other hotels en route.

“Resistance may be needed at these three hotels if the coach eventually leaves Peckham – but the comrades are determined it won’t!”

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “Housing migrants in hotels costs the British taxpayer millions of pounds every day.

“We will not allow this small group of students, posing for social media, to deter us from doing what is right for the British public.”

In video captured by the PA news agency, the protesters could be heard chanting “no borders, no nations, stop deportations”.

In a statement posted on X, the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at around 8.40am to reports of a group of protesters near a hotel in Peckham Road SE15.

“There were reports that a coach had been obstructed by people and bicycles.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “My officers were quickly on scene and have engaged with the protesters at length.

“They have warned the group that they could be arrested.

“We will share more information when we can.”

The Home Office abandoned plans to move a group of asylum seekers to the Bibby barge in the wake of protests in Margate last week.

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