25 September 2015

On 12 September 2015, tens of thousands of people took part in solidarity marches all over Europe to show their solidarity with refugees coming to Europe and their disagreement with the refugees-related policies of their respective governments. Peaceful demonstrations took place in several cities in Denmark, the UK, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria and Italy.

In Copenhagen, over 30,000 people gathered outside the Parliament building and shouted ‘refugees are welcome’. In London, tens of thousands joined the Solidarity with Refugees march, urging the UK government to do more and to welcome more refugees. In Dublin, private citizens joined an initiative organised by a coalition of NGOs and created a human ‘refugees welcome’ aerial photo.

The wave of solidarity spontaneously born out of European citizens’ willingness to help newly arrived refugees still continues, and in most cases volunteers and local organisations are providing reception and basic services for refugees that the governments are unwilling to provide.

A solidarity march is planned in Brussels this Sunday 27 September at 14.00, organised by the Plateforme citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés de Bruxelles and Refugees Welcome. The march aims to call on the Belgian government to respect international obligations and commitments, ensure dignified reception conditions for all refugees and take concrete measures against intolerance and xenophobia. More information is available on the Facebook page. ECRE warmly invites all readers based in Brussels to participate in the solidarity march.

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 25 September 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.