On Wednesday night, peaceful demonstrations by asylum seekers protesting pandemic accommodation conditions were disrupted by far-right groups, who occupied Glasgow’s George Square and prevented the protest from going ahead.
Housing for asylum seekers and persons granted international protection is a contested issue. The state relies on local municipalities to settle refugees, and on the other hand, local governments experience housing shortages and need to make decisions how to prioritise between different groups in need of apartments.
Reports last week that local authorities participating in the Dispersal Scheme are considering withdrawing from the Scheme are alarming but perhaps not surprising. Dispersal is a programme run by the UK government to accommodate asylum seekers in locations across the UK on a no-choice basis. Since its implementation at the turn of the Millennium, it has attracted controversy, especially around issues relating to the housing of asylum seekers.