The Syrian Community of Manchester have welcomed the UK government’s plans to receive ‘thousands more’ refugees but say a humanitarian response should have happened ‘a long time ago’.
Yasmine Nahlawi, advocacy and policy coordinator for Rethink, Rebuild Society (i.e. the Syrian Community Of Manchester), believes the events highlight the power of the general public to enact change without voting.
Europe has been overflowing with refugees in what has been described as its biggest test since the Second World War, with Syria affected most after suffering extreme turmoil under the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Ms. Nahlawi, 25, argues that the conflict is still ongoing and needs to be addressed immediately.
She told MM: “We’re happy about this huge change of stance, but it’s still too little and far too late.
“The Syrian conflict has been ongoing for over four years. We still have the al-Assad regime brutally massacring the population, creating more refugees.
“For David Cameron to suddenly step in to say that he’ll take in thousands more is too late, it should have come a long time ago.
“Thousands have lost lives at sea, trying to make it to Europe or the UK specifically, so it’s definitely better late than never but at the same time we mourn the losses that have happened in this whole time of inaction.”
The conflict under the Syrian president has been described as the worst in the past 25 years, leaving more than 4million Syrian refugees and another 7.6million internally displaced within the country.
A protest will take place in Piccadilly Gardens from 4pm until 6pm today and will feature a number of organisations in order to rally against ‘David Cameron’s scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers’.
Vicky Marsh of Safety 4 Sisters, an organiser of the demonstration, believes that the government’s delayed response proves that Cameron is ‘out of touch’ with the general public.
“Thousands? We should be talking about tens of thousands,” she said to MM. “He has completely misjudged the mood of the country. It shows how out of touch he is with ordinary people.
“He didn’t get the majority of the vote from all British people did he? So many people didn’t vote because they were disenfranchised and now because people were shocked at what had happened they are speaking up.”
Hungary are reported to be another country experiencing a refugee crisis, as hundreds of refugees are locked in a stalemate with authorities after refusing to move to a nearby refugee camp.
The migrants fear that registration to the camp will hamper their chances to seek asylum in other countries.
Image courtesy of Freedom House, with thanks.