Refugees Welcome in London
Friday 13th November 2015 | Teresa
Last night Stand Up to Racism gathered refugee supporters to protest against the physical and institutional barriers blocking refugees from entering the UK. The protesters held candles, gave speeches, and cried out in chants targeting David Cameron and Theresa May’s anti-refugee stance.
Despite its intent as a vigil to honour the mistreated refugees held at the borders in Calais, there was a politically charged atmosphere, with many passionate protesters. The protest started assembling at about 6:00pm right across from the Prime Minister’s office on Downing Street, and continued for a couple hours, gaining supporters as time went on.
Around 7:30pm, a large group of Kurdish protesters rounded the corner down the street carrying flags, and images of the aftermath of bombings of innocent civilians in countries stricken by war and corrupt rule. Much of the Kurdish population hails from war stricken countries like Syria, where some of the largest refugee populations come from.
Whilst many of the protesters stated they were there in solidarity, supporting the basic right to live for all, others were more outspoken about their discontent with the current government. Every protester interviewed held the view that David Cameron could be doing more and could be allowing thousands more refugees into the country.
Some even cited Germany along with other European countries, and many developing countries that were taking in the most migrants. According to Business Insider, Britain is amongst the top 23 richest countries in the world. Many protesters argued, from an economic standpoint, Britain can afford to take in more refugees.
In the past year, it was reported that refugees only make up 0.19% of the population, therefore conveying that they are in the extreme minority of the population, and funding their basic needs of survival would be manageable in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Importantly, another interviewed protester pointed out that many of the refugees are fleeing war, wars that started as a product of the power play amongst the superpowers of the world. Thus, the protesters intimated that it’s only right these people are allowed into the UK, not just because it is the right and just political move but also because it is the humanitarian thing to do.
Ultimately, the protester’s message was clear: these refugees have a right to live and our solidarity can help.
If you’re interested in helping the cause, please consider donating or volunteering with CalAid, Solidarity 4 Refugees, UNHCR, UNICEF, or any other organisations trying to better the current situation.