Refugees are welcome – These are the speaking notes used by Jean to address the solidarity with refugees rally in Hyde Park on September 12th.
• Turnout amazing – seeing solidarity here, in many parts of the EU and beyond. -Consider the millions of people supported in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey
• Can expect to see many leave Turkey if the violence of the Turkish state against the Kurds continues as it has done in the last few days. Many of those fleeing Syria to Turkey are Kurds – why stay in Turkey and face violence there?
• Turkey should be resisting IS – not oppressing the Kurds?
• Solidarity needed at the national and international level to cope with current situation
• EP this week voted for an expansion of the relocation scheme – MS taking asylum seekers, dealing with asylum claims, providing the reception and support that people should have
• Greens have argued for safe routes to the EU – so we do not have to lift dead bodies from the sea: for those seeking asylum not to be kept in the first EU country they come to but to be able to move to where they have family or community ties, if that is what they choose. For them to be treated with dignity.
• Welcome the lead provided by the German Government to show solidarity: Greece and Italy do need help . What of the UK?
• Really welcome the UK’s contribution to the work of UNHCR in the region: it is crucially important. We are seeing the UNHCR, World Food Programme, UNICEF short of money to deliver help in the region: because Syria is not the only crisis in the world
• I am ashamed that UNHCR is stepping in to assist Hungary provide decent conditions for those who have managed to cross the razor wire of their border.
• I am also ashamed of the hate speech, the religious bigotry and discrimination coming from some national leaders and politicians in Hungary and too many other EU countries, including some in UK.
• Welcome the UK’s commitment to take more Syrian refugees (could hardly take less): right that people should have the opportunity for organised resettlement
• But – it is not enough. We can offer to show solidarity with other EU Member States and, even more importantly, with asylum seekers and we can take more. Germany is taking thousands – we are taking 10-12 a day.
• We can also afford to keep asylum seekers from detention and destitution:
• But I also want to repeat: Syria is not the only conflict. We must remember those fleeing from persecution, oppression and conflict elsewhere – whether Afghanistan or Eritrea or wherever else they come from. Not every country is safe for everyone.
Asylum is a human right; your presence here shows that there are many prepared to defend that right and to say REFUGEES WELCOME HERE.