The current accommodation capacity of the barge is just over 200. The refit commissioned by the government will see that capacity more than doubled to 500.
Which of course inevitably means cramped overcrowding and unhygienic conditions.
Regardless of how the government tries to portray it or dress it up in benign rhetoric, this barge is intended to be used as a prison ship in which to incarcerate refugees, many of whom have fled for their lives from harrowing and torturous conditions in the hope of finding safety from war or persecution in what they believe to be a civilised country.
The barge will, after its refit in Falmouth, be tugged to Portland in Dorset where it will be permanently moored — ironically not so far from where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were unjustly deported for trying to form a union of farm labourers almost 200 years ago.
On Wednesday May 10, within a day of the arrival of the prison barge in Falmouth, over a hundred protesters gathered at a point overlooking the harbour where the Bibby Stockholm is moored, chanted and displayed No To Floating Prisons banners. Speakers called for an end to the racist violence that the Bibby Stockholm represents.