CAMPAIGNERS gathered in Falmouth last night in protest of the huge three-storey barge that arrived in Falmouth on Tuesday. 

The crowds turned up to voice their 'disgust and embarrassment' that the barge, known as the Bibby Stockholm, was being refitted and refurbished while at the docks.

Around 50 people turned up for the protest, which was organised over a 24-hour period, with several speakers voicing their concerns about the barge, the conditions within it, and the general attitude of the home office towards asylum seekers.

Falmouth Packet: Protestors holding placardsProtestors holding placards (Image: Ryan Morwood)

During one speech, one protestor said: "The ship will be a floating human rights violation, illegal under international law.

"Those who will be imprisoned on the ship might not know that Falmouth was complicit in their detention and their suffering, but we do, and that's why we're here.

"The people who live here have come here today to make our voices heard.

Falmouth Packet: Protestors outside Falmouth DocksProtestors outside Falmouth Docks (Image: Ryan Morwood)

"Today, we stand here together to reject Cornwall's complicity to border violence.

"We stand by Cornwall's motto: that Cornwall has and always will be a place for one and a place for all.

"We call on every person here to reject the use of our waters and this land and resources to be used by millionaires in the British government to produce prisons to detain people who we will always have more in common with than we do with Boris Johnson, or Rishi Sunak, or Suella Braverman."

Falmouth Packet: Several speeches were made during the protestSeveral speeches were made during the protest (Image: Ryan Morwood)


Explaining why he felt the need to protest, one campaigner told The Packet: "It seems to me that the government is basically pandering to racism.

Falmouth Packet: Around 50 people turned up for the protest which was organised over a 24-hour period Around 50 people turned up for the protest which was organised over a 24-hour period (Image: Ryan Morwood)

"These poor souls, if only they were given the chance to settle in this country. They are overwhelmingly a benefit to this country. We're a country of immigration.

"I think a political party needs to own immigration and sell it to the public as the overwhelming benefit that it is.

Falmouth Packet: Protestors watch onProtestors watch on (Image: Ryan Morwood)

"It's very, very easy to get emotional about these things, but there's a fundamental need in this country for immigration because our population is getting older.

"There's going to come a time where the working population is outweighed by the retired population, and our birth rate is falling.

"We need a political party to grasp this now and tell the truth, we going to need mass immigration if we're going to look after our old people in the future."

Falmouth Packet: Young protestors hold their signsYoung protestors hold their signs (Image: Ryan Morwood)

Tom Scott of Cornwall Green Party, who was in attendance at the rally, told The Packet that it was his horror at the way refugees were being treated in this country that brought him to the protest.

Tom said: "The fact that there is a kind of floating prison slash concentration camp being fitted out in Falmouth, in the 21st century is just unconscionable.

"The reason that they're using this kind of accomodation is because they want to make conditions so bad that people will not actually come to this country, and that's disgraceful. 

Falmouth Packet: One of several speeches at the eventOne of several speeches at the event (Image: Ryan Morwood)

"We have a duty in international law to give asylum to people who are fleeing in that way, and we're not doing that, we're trying to deter them from coming.

"We're proposing to deport them to a country in Africa to which they have absolutely no connection to or desire to live and where they will, in all likelihood, also be treated very badly Rwanda has a very poor human rights record, so that's why I'm here."

The Bibby Stockholm is scheduled to arrive at its final destination in Portland Port in June.