On Saturday 12th September thousands across Britain will take part in candle-lit protests against the UK government’s refusal to accept a reasonable number of refugees fleeing the terrible conflict in Syria and so-called Islamic State.Vigils have already been arranged in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Chichester after the original event in George Square, Glasgow, went viral on social media. Starting at 14:30 on 12 September, attendees will remain together in unity and protest until midnight to send a strong message.
These protests will coincide with Home Secretary Theresa May’s preparations to fly to Brussels on 14 September to discuss the ongoing refugee crisis with the other 27 member states. Since the start of the war in Syria in 2011, Britain has only granted temporary asylum to 5,000 Syrian refugees, while other European nations have agreed to settle thousands, with nearly 40,000 accepted by Germany. This has been a bone of contention for German leader Angela Merkel who has said David Cameron’s refusal to accept a reasonable number of refugees is damaging the British-German relationship.
The original event in Glasgow was set-up by Alexis Stearns, a Glasgow mother of two, who said: “Social media is doing what it does best: spreading a grass-roots demonstration like wildfire across the UK. As a wealthy country, many of our citizens want to register their disgust at how little our government is doing to tackle a very serious situation. We hope that other towns and cities will now be inspired to launch events so that we can send a message from every corner of the country.”
Amer Masri, a Syrian based in Edinburgh, added: ““I love Scotland, what you are doing is so important for Syrian refugees, and not just Syrians there are refugees from many places. The kids who died yesterday really broke our hearts, it feels like it will be one of my own boys lying there.”
You can view or join the Facebook event for the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Chichester vigils by clicking on the place names, meanwhile you can read our report from last year on delivering aid inside Syria here.