Show of support for refugees to be held in Sidmouth

Amnesty International members at the Amnesty South West conference in Exeter

Amnesty International members at the Amnesty South West conference in Exeter earlier this year, which had the theme 'Refugees Welcome' - Credit: Amnesty East Devon

A show of support for refugees and asylum seekers will be held in Sidmouth tomorrow evening (Tuesday, June 21). 

Amnesty East Devon and Sidmouth Black Lives Matter members are joining forces to demonstrate their opposition to what they describe as the Government’s ‘increasingly toxic’ measures against people seeking safety in the UK. 

They will meet at Bedford Lawn Car Park at 6pm and be on the Esplanade for an hour, before holding the usual Amnesty meeting at Twyford House at 7.30pm. 

Fiona Anderson from Amnesty East Devon said; “It’s Refugee Week, and Amnesty International East Devon and Black Lives Matters Sidmouth are getting together to welcome refugees. 

“We’re just sick and tired of all the negativity around refugees.  

“Refugee Week comes this year at a time when Europe is once again experiencing conflict that is forcing millions of people to flee. Images and stories of people escaping Ukraine have once again shown the plight of refugees, the trauma they face in seeking sanctuary from war and persecution, and the need for countries and communities around the world to welcome them.  

“With the Nationality and Borders Act passing into law earlier this year – the UK Government is accelerating its wreckage of the UK’s asylum system, reneging on its obligations to fully and equally uphold the rights of all refugees in the UK. We’re appalled by the plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, and to put electronic tags on legitimate asylum seekers.” 

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“Last month I met a Ukrainian family of four who had fled from Mariupol and are now living with one of my oldest friends. Their story of the utter destruction of their everyday lives  - the mother worked in a bank - and their complicated flight to safety in the UK was simply terrifying, and heart-breaking.  

“We need an asylum and refugee system which actually welcomes refugees, instead of throwing obstacles in their path. British people are generous and open hearted, as their response to the Ukraine crisis and to refugees from Syria and other countries shows. Our Government needs to respond humanely and effectively, not as it is."