Big pro-refugee demonstration in London

This video from England says about itself:

Refugees Welcome Here 2016 Countdown – 3 days to go!

16 September2016

The ladies at Women for Refugee Women are making banners for the demonstration on Saturday.

This year’s march will be held on Saturday 17th September in London 12:30–17:00 starting at Park Lane. Join us to show that we stand for refugees and they are welcome here.

About Solidarity with Refugees:

In September 2015, SwR organised the biggest ever UK demonstration in support of refugees – about 100,000 people. Now we want policy change in the UK.

Find out more on the website.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Refugees Welcome Here protest: Thousands march on Downing Street calling on UK to resettle more migrants

Protest comes days before world leaders meet to discuss crisis at UN General Assembly

Lizzie Dearden

Thousands of protesters are marching on Downing Street to demand the British Government takes in more refugees as thousands of men, women and children continue to drown in desperate attempts to reach Europe.

Demonstrators were working their way from Park Lane to Parliament Square in London on Saturday afternoon, demanding action as a crucial United Nations summit on the crisis approaches.

Marchers chanted “refugees are welcome here” while waving banners reading “no-one is illegal” and “let’s help people”.

Amnesty International said actors Juliet Stevenson, Vanessa Redgrave and George MacKay as well as the Kaiser Chiefs’s Simon Rix would be among demonstrators.

Lord Alf Dubs, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Baroness Sheehan were also due to address a rally in Parliament Square.

Brendan Cox, the husband of killed Labour MP Jo Cox, said she had planned to join the protest before her death in June.

Writing on Twitter, he said he and their children Cuillin and Lejla “marched in her stead today imagining her by our side”.

It comes a year after around 100,000 protesters took to London’s streets calling on the UK to resettle more asylum seekers amid the international outcry over the death of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned trying to reach Greece.

The Solidarity With Refugees group said Saturday’s protest aimed to “show our Government and the world that Britain is ready to welcome more refugees”.

“The UK should be leading the way and working with other states to give refugees safe, legal routes to asylum, ending the trade in people smuggling,” a spokesperson said.

“Since the referendum campaign and vote, divisive rhetoric has been ever more prevalent from a small but vocal minority. In the light of this, the need to come together in a spirit of welcome has become even more acute.”

The march was supported by charities and groups including the Red Cross, Asylum Aid, Save the Children, Hope Not Hate, Oxfam and the UN Refugee Agency.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, described the Government’s contribution to tackling the refugee crisis as “shocking” but praised local communities and volunteers for “taking matters into their own hands” to support migrants.

“This march is to show that ordinary people in Britain actually care deeply about refugees,” she said.

“Many of those seeking sanctuary have seen their families torn apart and homes destroyed. As one of the richest countries in the world, our government can and must do more to help.”

Mr Rix, the Kaiser Chiefs’s bassist, described the refugee crisis as a “global disaster” while Ms Stevenson called on world leaders to share responsibility, adding: “I hope Theresa May is listening.”

The show of solidarity comes as world leaders prepare for the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

A UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants on Monday will be followed by a separate summit on the issue hosted by Barack Obama the following day.

More than 3,200 refugees and asylum seekers have drowned attempting to reach Europe so far this year, with almost 300,000 completing the journey.

But thousands remain trapped in Greece after being automatically detained under the controversial EU-Turkey deal, under threat of deportation if their asylum applications fail.

Those granted protection face an increasingly difficult task reaching other parts of Europe as countries increase border controls and build fences to stop the flow of migrants.

Oxfam has warned that millions of refugees are being forced to flee from one warzone into another, while a report released this week found that attempted crackdowns in Europe were failing to significantly reduce refugee numbers and instead forcing migrants on hidden and dangerous routes.

In the wake of Alan’s death, David Cameron pledged to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK over the coming five years but there have been additional calls to re-home those who have already reached Europe, as well as asylum seekers coming from other conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of migrants hoping to travel to Britain remain in the Jungle migrant camp in Calais, where the government is planning to fund a controversial barrier to stop attempts to board lorries.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Refugees deserve better

Saturday 17th September 2016

London fills with calls for Westminster to show true solidarity with Syrians

by Sofia Lotto Persio

PRO-REFUGEE demonstrators will flood the streets of London today to demand that the government make more effort to tackle the global refugee crisis.

Marching under the “Refugees Welcome Here” banner, tens of thousands of people are calling on Britain to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees from both within and outside Europe, beyond the existing commitment to resettling 20,000 Syrians by 2020.

They also want the establishment of safe and legal routes of passage to Britain, as well as universal access to fair procedures to determine eligibility for asylum.

Charities, aid agencies and religious leaders have put forward similar demands.

The Overseas Development Institute revealed recently that, while the number of people arriving in Europe has fallen, the rate of those taking hidden routes to Europe has not changed and is actually likely to increase.

“These covert routes can be more dangerous and make it harder for governments to monitor migration and design effective responses,” said the report’s author Marta Foresti.

Solidarity with Refugees, which organised the march, hopes to send a strong signal of international solidarity ahead of two major global summits on the crisis next week, which Prime Minister Theresa May is set to attend.

Solidarity with Refugees director Ros Ereira said: “The summits next week in the US are the best opportunity for our government to take proper action to tackle the refugee crisis, committing Britain to taking its fair share of responsibility.

“And this demonstration is the public’s best opportunity to show the government that’s what we want them to do.

“Britain is a country that should welcome people fleeing desperate situations — let’s make that message heard loud and clear.”

A similar march last year gathered around 100,000 people after a photo was published of the lifeless body of three-year-old refugee Alan Kurdi lying on a beach in Turkey.

The image finally shook the world’s conscience over the thousands of people who, for years, have died crossing the Mediterranean sea seeking a better life on European shores.

Deaths have continued however, with over 3,200 of the 300,000 people who have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe having died or gone missing, according to the UN.

Tens of thousands are stranded in Greece and Italy in appalling living conditions.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “The refugee crisis is worse than ever.

“Britain should be leading the way by accepting more people in need and working with other countries to give refugees safe, legal routes to asylum.”

Demonstrators will march at 12.30pm from Park Lane towards Parliament Square, where activists, MPs and religious leaders from various faiths will address the rally.

Amnesty International will be handing out placards with slogans reading messages including: “May, May! Let them in today!” and “Longer tables, not higher walls” at stations near the start of the march.

Demonstration report here.

UK steps up repression of migrant workers: here.

115 BODIES RECOVERED OFF EGYPTIAN COAST AFTER MIGRANT TRAGEDY A boat carrying an estimated 450 migrants heading to Europe capsized Wednesday. Only 150 are estimated to have survived. [AP]

13 thoughts on “Big pro-refugee demonstration in London

  1. Tuesday 20th
    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    May turns back on vulnerable refugees as she calls for tougher border controls

    by Luke James

    Parliamentary Reporter

    THERESA MAY was accused of turning her back on families fleeing war zones yesterday after demanding tougher border controls to deter refugees.

    The Tory PM spoke of the dangers of “uncontrolled mass migration” at a UN summit trying to grapple with the staggering 65 million people displaced by conflict — the largest number since World War II.
    Charities on the front line of the crisis had called for Britain to be more generous in helping refugees and savaged her first speech on the global stage as “extremely disappointing.”

    A “lifejacket graveyard” of almost 3,000 orange vests symbolising the people who have perished attempting to cross the the Mediterranean sea was assembled in Parliament Square in a call for action ahead of her speech.
    And a new census of the Jungle refugee camp in Calais reveals that the number of unaccompanied children there has doubled.

    The population of the camp, which has been earmarked for demolition by the French government, has soared past 10,000 for the first time, according to research by Help Refugees.
    And a breathtaking 1,022 of the 1,179 under-16s at the camp have lost their families.

    The figures were revealed after the tragic death of a 14-year-old boy who was waiting to be reunited with his family in Britain. He was knocked over and killed on the motorway close to the camp. The driver did not stop.
    He was the youngest refugee to die while trying to enter Britain.

    Apparently unmoved, Ms May stressed the need to draw a “better distinction between refugees and economic migrants.”

    Global Justice Now spokesman Alex Scrivener accused her of “pandering to populism by building more walls” and warned it would lead to a “needless loss of life.”

    Philippe Sands QC, also a Professor of International Law, warned the change would require reform to UN conventions drawn up in the wake of the second world war that would be “devilishly difficult if not impossible.”
    Ms May also said refused refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and stressed that nations have a right to control their borders.

    “We are seeing unprecedented levels of population movement and we need to work together to find a better response, which focuses our humanitarian efforts on those refugees in desperate need of protection and maintains public confidence in the economic benefits of legal and controlled migration,” she said.
    The Refugee Council said that would pile more pressure on overstretched services in Greece and Italy where migrants land after the dangerous crossing from Turkey.

    Chief executive Maurice Wren said: “These proposals indicate that the Prime Minister is intent on attempting to reinforce the untenable status quo; blocking off people’s escape routes and leaving poor countries looking after nearly nine out of 10 of the world’s refugees.”
    Not a single unaccompanied child refugee has been brought to Britain — almost five months after Parliament voted in favour of Lord Alf Dubs’s proposal to rescue 3,000 from camps.

    The 193 world leaders taking part in talks were set to pass the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

    It includes promises of better education and job chances for refugees and a campaign against racism, but makes no concrete commitments to resettlement or aid spending — and the declaration is not binding.
    Amnesty British director Kate Allen called it a “shameful back-turning, fence-building” response to the crisis.

    She blasted: “We have waited too long for this summit, yet we already know that it will be an abject failure.

    “World leaders have watered down proposals to be agreed so much as to render them toothless.”


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