Campaigners call “refugees welcome here” national day of action after government fails to meet needs of refugee crisis
A major national day of action under the slogan “Refugees Welcome Here” has been called on Saturday 12 September 2015 in response to the government’s failure to properly address the refugee crisis and to urge for a more humanitarian and compassionate response to people including children dying whilst desperate to flee war, persecution and poverty.
The event will include a march and rally in central London and local events around the country such as football supporters unveiling “Refugees Welcome Here” banners at matches.
There is strong support for a more humanitarian response with the event going viral on social media with tens of thousands pledging to attend the march and rally in London, and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition calling for an emergency Parliamentary debate.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Organiser said:
“David Cameron’s approach of refusing to take refugees currently stranded in Hungary, Calais and other parts of the EU is woefully inadequate. It is also a grotesque dereliction of duty to expect poorer countries surrounding Syria to shoulder the burden – who currently take 3.7 million Syrian refugees – whilst the richer EU only takes substantially less with several hundred thousand with some countries failing to comply with the UN Geneva Convention on Refugees. We support the call of the Chief Rabbi for a more humanitarian, compassionate and responsible to the refugee crisis. As anti-racists we are concerned about Britain’s failure to provide sanctuary to African and Arab people and the dehumanising message this sends.”
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition Convenor said:
“David Cameron has responded to the refugee crisis in the most abject way. He is refusing to take many refugees. But he is still promising to try and make parliament agree to more bombing of Syria. This will only force more refugees to flee Syria. Every day thousands flee war and chaos, many dying in the most terrible circumstances, suffocating in lorries or drowning during dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean. They are being treated terribly by many of the governments of Europe, including our own. The majority of these refugees are the victims of war, many of them fleeing the disastrous conflict in Syria, but also from Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The British government must accept responsibility for the outcome of these wars by accepting the refugees. There is always money to bomb, but not to help some of the world’s most desperate people. That has to change. We urge everyone to join the demonstration.”
Lee Jasper, Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts Chair said:
“The British Government’s totally inadequate response in providing sanctuary for refugees is contrasted by the out pouring of public support all over Britain demanding we do more. Britain should match Germany’s magnificent response and restore our international reputation as a nation of sanctuary.
“Lest us not forget that modern Europe was made rich on the profits made from slavery and colonialism and now many EU nations are rejecting the descendants of nations they bled dry. Progressive European values of solidarity mean nothing in the context of such moral failure.
“This Day of Action will be the largest pro migrant demonstration seen in decades and I urge everyone to do what they can. Our message is compassionate, clear and simple #RefugeesWelcome.”
Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism, Joint Secretary said:
“We must learn the lessons of history. After the Second World War and the horrors of the Holocaust following the Nazis rise to power, we said “never again.” Britain has a historical tradition of welcoming refugees with measures such as the Kinder Transport. Today we have racist and Islamophobic statements by Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, saying Muslims are not welcome in Hungary, conceding to Neo Nazi Jobbik. David Cameron should be standing in British tradition taking a lead and providing sanctuary for these people, not ignoring the current problem in the EU.”