The EU referendum has dominated political debate, and the left is divided on which way – if at all – to vote. Yet it seems clear that, whatever the outcome, attacks on migrants and refugees will intensify; whatever the outcome, we need to unite and mobilise against these. We start on World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June, with a march from Australia House t0 the EU Offices.
As regular readers will know, while rs21 as an organisation has voted in favour of a Leave position in the upcoming EU referendum, the issue has been subject to much internal debate. The same is true of the left as a whole.
Whatever the merits of each position, it seems clear that migrants and refugees will be subject to further attacks whatever the outcome of the vote on June 23. We need to mobilise against these attacks. On Monday June 20, Brick Lane Debates have called a demonstration in solidarity with all those forced to travel the globe in search of safety, dignity and a decent standard of living. They requested rs21’s support in building the protest, and we offer it without hesitation.
Another protest will be underway outside Australia House from 1pm, in protest at the Australian island detention centres of Nauru and Manus. At 3pm, the march will move to the EU offices and continue the demonstration.
We urge all who can to attend. More information from the organisers below:
In recent weeks, near 1000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. As many as 2000 men, women and children have lost their lives already this year fleeing persecution, conflict and the impacts of climate change. A crisis of empathy has seen Fortress Europe respond to its greatest refugee crisis since World War II with fences and tear gas, striking a shoddy deal with Turkey that forces civilians back into danger and destitution. Here in the UK, the EU referendum debate has quickly descended into a race to the bottom row on immigration. In or out of the EU, we need to demand Safe Passage Now.
World Refugee Week is traditionally a time to celebrate solidarity and common humanity. But this year we must demand an end to this senseless loss of life on our borders.
At 13.00 we will be joining the demonstration outside Australia House in solidarity with ongoing refugee protest at the Australian island detention centres of Nauru and Manus. These island ‘processing centres’ have become flash points of resistance. They have seen two self-immolations in the past month as opposition to the horrific conditions and human abuses have been ignored by the Australian government and much of the media.
We will hear from refugees, frontline volunteers and human rights advocates before marching on to a creative, non-violent action nearby to shine a light on the culpability of the British government in a racist and inhumane response to the global crisis.
Brick Lane Debates
Friends of the Earth
War on Want
Global Justice Now!
Wretched of the Earth
Right to Remain
European March for Refugee Rights
This Changes Everything UK