On Friday 19th March, people across the UK took part in the #ClosetheBarracks day of action to demand that the Government allows people seeking asylum to be welcomed as our neighbours, not warehoused in camps and in institutional accommodation.
Together, we called for an asylum system that allows people to keep themselves safe and rebuild their lives free from persecution, housed in homes that guarantee their safety, privacy, and freedom, and enable them to live as part of the wider community.
As part of the day of action organised with our friends at Refugee Action, Freedom from Torture, Detention Action, and Choose Love, hundreds of MPs were contacted by their constituents, and roughly 30 MPs met their constituents. More than 600 people joined an online rally with brilliant refugee speakers with experience of the barracks accommodation and other institutional accommodation, and Holly Lynch MP, Stuart McDonald MP, and Caroline Nokes MP. Thousands of people got involved on social media, either tweeting their MP, or posting messages of support to #CloseTheBarracks.
The day resulted in extensive media coverage, including this incredible interview with one of the former residents of the barracks in the Daily Mail, and our friends at Restore speaking to UCB radio. A former resident of the barracks also wrote this powerful letter to the Guardian.
Now, more than ever, we’ll continue to keep up the pressure and call for people seeking asylum to be housed in local communities, and are properly supported to rebuild their lives in the UK. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more!