Protesters in London rally against British government's migration policies

World
Tue, 19 Dec 2023 7:40 GMT
'We will not stop shouting from the top of our lungs that people seeking safety should be welcomed with compassion and dignity,' says Care4Calais charity.
Protesters in London rally against British government's migration policies

Activists, anti-racists and refugee rights campaigners gathered outside the Home Office in London on Monday for a major protest under the banner “Stop the Hate.” 

The event aimed to express strong opposition to Britain’s migration policies, particularly in the wake of a distressing incident linked to the controversial Bibby Stockholm barge, which was designated by the government to accommodate migrants.

The protest was ignited by a tragic death last week, further intensifying concerns over the treatment of migrants under the current policies. The Bibby Stockholm, at the center of the controversy, was where an asylum seeker died recently.

​​​​​​​Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up To Racism, expressed profound concern over recent developments.

"While our hearts broke watching the news of more lives lost as a result of the racist borders policy, (Prime Minister Rishi) Sunak forced through legislation seeking to override the court’s ruling that the Rwanda plan was illegal," he said.

He was referring to the government's controversial emergency legislation aimed at fast-tracking the process of declaring Rwanda a secure destination for asylum seekers, despite the Supreme Court having ruled against the initial scheme last month.

According to the Rwanda plan, people whom the UK identifies as illegal immigrants or asylum seekers would be relocated to the East African country for processing, asylum and resettlement.

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn joined the chorus of dissent, drawing a connection between Britain's military operations and the displacement of countless individuals.

"Every single one of those that have come from a war-torn country Britain had been involved in bombing and the war in that particular country,” he said.

The protesters, undeterred by recent legislative actions, delivered a resounding message demanding a more compassionate and inclusive approach to refugees and migrants.

"We are not going to let this government bully us or overwhelm us into silence. We will not stop shouting from the top of our lungs that people seeking safety should be welcomed with compassion and dignity," declared Charlotte Khan, project manager of Care4Calais.

"Looking back over a year, it is a year full of the government's increasingly cruel policies and decisions. To be honest, it's hard not to feel crushed by it all. It's another year where we have lost yet more precious lives in the (English) Channel. And last week, we lost a precious friend on the Bibby Stockholm and important souls because the government has a complete disregard for the value of human life," she added.

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