Refugees Must be Welcome

Another day and another set of haunting images reach our screens and front pages of refugees and migrants fighting for their lives across Europe.

The world watches in horror at the rising number of those who don’t make it to safety. The tragedy of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, his older brother Galip and their mother Rihan – drowned - as they attempt to find sanctuary should be a wake-up call for coordinated action across the European Union to end the crisis. But not for our government.

Every day of the crisis brings more shame to the Tories, as they reveal their utter heartlessness and contempt for innocent people’s lives. They truly are the nasty party.
 
How could the response to victims of war, persecution and destitution be so callous and cruel? David Cameron's dehumanising remarks about 'swarms of migrants’ and Philip Hammond’s deeply offensive description of ‘marauding African migrants’ show a government that is bigoted and out of touch.
 
But across Europe, people have shown that despite the wholly inadequate responses of our governments, we the people will show solidarity and compassion for our fellow sisters and brothers. It is heartening to know that many thousands have taken action, have donated food and medical supplies, opened their homes and welcomed those that have made perilous journeys.
 
And the reality is that many people recognise the role the many European governments have played in creating the crisis in the first place. Britain especially has played an incredibly destructive role in countries across African, Asia, and the Middle-East; with military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; as well as flooding the regions with weapons that are now being used by terrorist organisations. Britain has sewed instability and chaos across many countries, and as always, it is civilians and innocent people who suffer.
 
As NHS hospitals are told to only fill ‘essential vacancies’ due to financial shortages, and we go in to the new school term with a significant shortage of teachers – it’s incredible that Theresa May seems to be able to dig deep for millions for security fences and sniffer dogs, yet her government is incapable of funding public services. At the end of the day it’s about priorities. If we ended the wars, scrapped Trident nuclear weapons, we would actually be able to fund our public services and could work to alleviate the refugee crisis that Britain has helped stoke.

That's why we need to both create an international movement of solidarity with the refugees, and build a mass social movement in opposition to austerity, racism and war. We must take on our own government's harmful policies and get the Tories out as soon as we can.
 
I'll be marching against austerity outside Tory Party  conference next month, and attending the People's Assembly National Week of Action on the 3rd to 7th of October, because I want a future of hope and opportunity for everyone – not one of division and despair. But you know what? I'll also be marching against the brutal inhumane politics of people like David Cameron - who displays zero compassion, even as dead toddlers wash up on European shores. I’ll be marching for a Britain and a Europe that always says: refugees are welcome here.
                                
Join us in our thousands as we take action on 12th September together, stand up for human dignity and justice and say loudly that refugees are welcome here. Link to facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1629390697300657/

By Aaron Kiely
People's Assembly Against Austerity & Stand Up To Racism

Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2015-10-12 22:48:57 +0100
    The humanitarian response should occur outside the UK. Just as any other humanitarian response does (1 billion in aid for this issue). There will be 8o million Citizens by 2050. Living standards are declining, people cannot afford homes, public services are under pressure. This just leads to the destruction of the NHS, lower wages as our economic elite will still make money out of the crisis created within the NHS ( via privatisation) and rents to landlords funded by the tax payer via housing benefit. We are becoming more and more impoverished with the present elite. Inequality continues to rise.
  • commented 2015-10-12 21:59:39 +0100
    You can spend your life looking after number 1 and hope you never need the help of a stranger our you can open your heart to giving and receiving help when needed. I believe in a world in which we look after each other in times of crisis. Please don’t turn your backs on those who need us to stand up for them. With winter fast approaching, these refugees will become a humanitarian crisis far worse than our worst nightmare when they fall victim to the elements. They need help now, not when the politicians have finally worked out a permanent solution to the Syrian crisis.
  • commented 2015-10-05 19:32:41 +0100
    Well, let’s see. ‘Swarms of migrants’. Correct. There are swarms of them, hundreds of thousands of them here, in the EU, right now. Good ole’ Ms Merkel invited the ‘swarm’ so they took her on her word. Ignored safety and decided to take a boat, as many thousands have done and sadly died along the way. Aylan was not the only child that has died trying to get to the EU, there have been hundreds, but hey, that’s ok, we haven’t seen the pictures of them in the papers so, we ignore that .
    ‘Marauding African Migrants’. Correct. They are in Calais. Have been in Calais for a long time, trying to illegally cross over to the UK instead of claiming asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. Jumping into lorries illegally, running through the tunnel illegally, paying people to bring them over illegally. Thousands of them, but hey, that’s ok we haven’t see the pictures of them in the papers, so we ignore that.
    So, realistically, how many of these so called ‘refugees’ shall we take? Given that most of them ‘claim’ to be Doctors, Scientists, Students etc. etc. ? How many would be acceptable? 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 1,000,000? Tell me.
  • commented 2015-09-10 22:48:37 +0100
    We don’t need any more refugees – our population will be 80 million in 2040. We have more than enough economic migrants eroding our living standards at the moment.
  • commented 2015-09-06 10:39:45 +0100
    When you have marched to Downing Street please come a little and join the survivors of the MONSTERS in power in this country outside Westminster https://www.facebook.com/events/484234041729299/

    It is having people in power that are capable of COVERING UP FOR THOSE WHO RAPE AND MURDER CHILDREN and have been getting away with it for years that is why they feel they can spread misery the world over leading to the dreadful consequences seen now.

    We must have ZERO tolerance to ALL those who have been complicit in this cover up. The are NOT fit to hold power.
  • commented 2015-09-04 17:52:36 +0100
    Aron
    the heavens cry out for justice. prime- minister Cameroon, should be charged for incitement to hatred in the political language he used to describe people in Calais
    we have to look at the political picture. remember the European Union elite, cheering on the war, stand with the Americans in Libya Iraq Syria Afghanistan.
    lets us not forget, 2014. EU ambassadors attending the UN sitting with their arms folded refusing to condem the war crimes of Israel
    and now we are witnessing the reality of the lives of these people. as the European political elite, are sending a political message to these people and families. Forttress Europe is up and running. the message is clear the lives of these people have no revelance in Europe
    remember the quote from Pator Neimoller
    first they came for the Communists
    I didnot speak out, because I was not a Communist
  • commented 2015-09-03 21:15:38 +0100
    The politicians debate while the shores of Europe are awash with the bodies of innocent victims who need our help. We need to shame our leaders into immediate action.

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