British solidarity with Calais refugees

This video says about itself:

Syrian refugees try to gain access to UK from Calais

23 December 2013

More than two million refugees have fled their homes in Syria since the civil war began but the European Union has only offered to take in 10,000.

The United Kingdom has offered financial aid to those displaced but is not accepting any refugees.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

THANKYOU: Public send aid convoy to Calais migrants

Saturday 15th August 2015

Calais migrant solidarity initiative overwhelmed with gifts from a public that won’t buy alarmist press slurs

A SOLIDARITY convoy from London to Calais will be distributing food, clothes and sanitary goods today after an overwhelming outpouring of support for refugees on the French coast put politicians to shame.

While Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond moaned that African migrants threaten our standard of living, and Prime Minister David Cameron bewailed “a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean,” the British public got on with helping.

Joining the convoy, friends Mona Dohle and Syed Bokhari alone raised over £7,400 in two weeks and with the help of friends, eight vans and piles of donations left their home in London yesterday, bound for Calais.

Mr Bokhari, who came to Britain in the 1990s as an asylum-seeker himself, told the Star: “On the one hand, we have the politicians and the media talking all sorts of racist language.

“On the other hand, what we found is that we have loads of people giving an outpour of support.”

According to Mr Bokhari, donations included cooking utensils, canned foods, long-life milk, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shoes and clothes.

“Someone brought the clothes of his deceased wife and someone brought her husband’s.

“This is a situation which they believed their wife or husband would have appreciated.

“That was really touching, I wasn’t expecting that.”

The solidarity convoy was also having an impact on this side of the Channel, as members said they felt attitudes towards migrants changed as they spoke about their action.

Mr Bokhari added: “We do feel that a campaign like this has got the power to challenge people’s ideas and to shatter racism in society.

“What we really want to do with our convoy is to put political pressure on the British government and to shame it on the world stage for allowing people to live in destitution and poor conditions on their doorstep.”

The most unique donation of them all was perhaps a Queer Care Package put together by queer activist Soren LaGordita.

Mx LaGordita said the package, which included tweezers, body lotion, a stretch bandage and a list of British-based trans charities, was vital as LGBTQ issues were often disregarded during refugee crises.

“People generally assume that migrants aren’t trans or queer and that those aspects of their lives don’t factor into their concerns as migrants,” they added.

“It might be the case that the package doesn’t reach the people who would benefit from it because of how dangerous it is for people to express their gender identity in those situations.

“This is kind of the reason why I don’t think you can say you have a queer politics without also arguing for the end of borders.”

The convoy will be returning at the end of the weekend but organisers vowed to return for more after the success of their first trip.

AMELIA WOMACK of the Greens reports on her visit to what’s become known as the ‘Jungle’ – the Calais migrant camp which is now home to thousands of the world’s most desperate people: here.

CYCLING activists Critical Mass will ride to Calais this weekend to donate bikes and supplies to refugees: here.

UP TO 150 British cyclists have set off on a ride to Calais this weekend to donate bicycles to migrants in the camp dubbed the Jungle. Around 5,000 people, many from war-torn Syria, Libya and Eritrea, live under tarpaulin shelters in desperate conditions in the makeshift camp, which lies around a mile outside Calais: here.

Banksy donates Dismaland attraction to shelter Calais migrants: here.

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