It’s no secret that the world is in a state of turmoil, especially with the violence in Syria. People are fleeing war zones and seeking refuge in the west. The media has delighted in spreading fear with news stories designed for fearmongering, while baseless rumours on social media sites have fanned the Islamaphobia growing in many western countries. But, last weekend a group of caring people took to the streets of London to prove that those in struggling in war-torn countries have a place to go. As people welcomed refugees and marched through London to put pressure on the British Government to accept more into the country.
People waved banners from various charities like Amnesty International and Oxfam, all professing their support for the refugees. Some people wore t-shirts stating who they were, while others danced to the sound of traditional Syrian music. When the advert for the film refugee was broadcast to the audience there was not a dry eye. The Director of the film then explained his harrowing journey from Turkey to Greece, following a group of refugees.
Lord Dubs, a man who went through his own harrowing escape from Nazi Germany at the tender age of six, made a powerful speech to an eager crowd about his own trials. He professed his opinion on how poor the Government has been when dealing with the crisis and the only way to make a real change in this country is by public demand. He went on to say that “the answer to the refugee crisis is not just humanitarian, it’s political will.”
But, it seemed as though the political support did little to change Teresa May’s mind as she attended the UN summit for refugees and migrants on Monday, hosted by Barack Obama and held in New York. She claimed the migration crisis had been exasperated by an unprecedented number of migrants and that countries must control their borders.
But, whether you were there or not it’s no secret that the refugee crisis is an escalating matter, one that is affecting most of the west. After a trip to Calais, I witnessed first hand the lengths people are willing to go to for a better life. As I passed through the border I saw a fire road blockade and people running desperately through cars in pitch black, all to reach the English border. I was also lucky enough to interview a Syrian refugee who had made it to Germany and is currently living a miserable life, where people take advantage of his refugee status.
Taking in those from a war-torn country is no easy feat, but they’re people and they deserve our help. After all, none of them wanted to flee their homes and separate from their families, and if the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you want them to help you and your loved ones?