Hundreds of men who are seeking asylum here are living at disused army barracks, and a recent COVID outbreak at Napier barracks has added to humanitarian concerns. A fire broke out at the barracks on January 29, during a disturbance which also saw windows smashed and 14 people arrested. There is now near universal condemnation of conditions at the prison like barracks .
Refugee Action previously launched an Email Your MP e-action campaign action calling for the barracks at Penally and Folkestone to be shut down and for people seeking asylum to be more appropriately accommodated. You can sign here: Https://act.refugee-action.org.uk/page/73095/action/1?ea.tracking.id=u3fsxjhj
‘City of Sanctuary UK urges the network to engage with the new Email Your MP e-action calling for MPs to write to the Home Secretary to ask that barracks be shut down immediately, hotel use to be strongly restricted and the entire accommodation estate to be urgently repaired and new housing acquired. We are tired of the regressive rhetoric about housing people seeking asylum and it is important to get as many supporters as possible to remind their MPs that we can do better than this. Please try to adapt and personalise the template email template if you can.’ ( https://cityofsanctuary.org/2020/12/21/13024/)
AVID (Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees) co-ordinated a letter to the Home Sec. signed by more than 60 community refugee orgs. The letter outlined the dangers of housing vulnerable asylum-seekers in crowded barracks where social distancing is impossible, and urging them to implement community based alternatives, to avoid further harm.