The UK government are ‘too frightened’ for an honest discussion about the migrant crisis, claims a protest leader ahead of a Manchester rally against the ‘scapegoating’ of refugees tomorrow.
The protest, which is titled ‘David Cameron’s scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers’, will begin at 4pm until 6pm in Piccadilly Gardens.
British immigration policy has come under severe scrutiny as of late, as millions fleeing countries plighted with conflict are seeking refuge around Europe but are somehow refused entry into the UK.
It has been described as the world’s biggest refugee crisis since the second world war.
Vicky Marsh of Safety 4 Sisters and organiser of the demonstration, told MM: “We have a moral obligation [to help]! As Europeans we should be supporting people that are experiencing violence, horrendous conditions, war and devastations.
“Syria, Afghanistan, we have created these conditions but we’ve sat back and let it happen.
“It’s a crisis and our government is doing nothing about it. I think also the government needs to sit down with the other countries in Europe and work out what to do with the whole crisis.
“The bottom line is when people are experiencing war, conflict or climate change, these things are not going away and we need to start facing it and sorting out proper solutions, not putting up fences or having military solutions.
“I don’t believe that this government is representative of the way people are thinking. They haven’t been giving the clear picture of migration, and they’re too frightened to talk about it.
“They react and say that we’re being swarmed but they don’t discuss how there are lots of skilled people coming over, doctors and nurses that can help contribute to our economy, it’s not black and white in that they’re coming over here taking our jobs and houses, it’s not that at all.”
Syria are the country affected most after suffering extreme turmoil under the Bashar al-Assad regime. The conflict under the Syrian president has been described as the worst in the past 25 years.
There now are over 4million Syrian refugees and another 7.6million have been internally displaced within the country.
Conversely, Britain have agreed to receive only 216 Syrians under the ‘vulnerable persons’ relocation initiative, which began in March 2014.
Yasmine Nahlawi, 25, advocacy and policy coordinator for Rethink, Rebuild Society (i.e. the Syrian Community Of Manchester), who is attending the protest, told MM: “The scale of the conflict is not imaginable and we started off having to deal with the al-Assad regime as the primary evil.
“Now, with the way it’s escalated and the way the international community just abandoned the country, the escalation of the violence led to the increase of the foreign fighters, terrorist groups, so now we’re not fighting one evil but multiple evils. It’s very frustrating and very sad and disturbing to say the least.
“It all comes down to national interest at the end of the day, but there’s never humanitarian intervention without hidden interests. That’s expected because states won’t commit their resources or troops unless they have something to gain from the situation.
“The bottom line is, we think the UK should play a role in accommodating these refugees, but our primary interest is to see the conflict in Syria ended so we don’t have to see people risking their lives to show up on Europe’s shores anymore.”
The protest will feature a large number of organisations including the Syrian Community of Manchester, Safety 4 Sisters, and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, to name but a few.
Image courtesy of Takver, with thanks.