Emergency protest – solidarity with refugees, no to fortress Europe
Saturday 20 November – 12 noon
Polish Embassy London – 47 Portland Place, W1B 1JH
Organised by Stand Up To Racism
Supported by Stop the War Coalition and CND
Information from the organisers
Antiracists, refugee and human rights campaigners are set to protest at the Polish Embassy in London this Saturday 20 November from 12 noon against the inhuman treatment of thousands of refugees on the Polish and Belarussian border – who are being tear gassed, assaulted and beaten by police.
These are people fleeing war, poverty and climate change.
The protest initiated by Stand Up To Racism is supported by Polish Migrants Organise for Change, Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will say that refugees should be humanely treated and welcomed to Europe, and will express opposition to border fences and ‘pushbacks’ whether on the Polish border or in the English Channel and say no to ‘Fortress Europe’.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said:
“The shameful tear-gassing of refugees by Poland at the Polish/Belarusian border must be condemned by all decent people. So must the British government’s scapegoating of and attempts to turn back refugees crossing the Channel. We call on the British government and the EU to allow people fleeing war, climate change and persecution to seek asylum. We also call on the British government to scrap the Nationality and Borders Bill.”
Ulrike Schmidt Amnesty Europe UK said
“Desperate refugees , many families with small children from the war-torn Middle East and Afghanistan are trapped in horrendous conditions in the forests between the borders of Poland and Belarus without shelter in freezing conditions.
“At least 9 people have already died and the harsh winter is closing in.. They are violently pushed back by both Polish and Belarussian border guards . The Polish Government has declared a state of emergency barring NGO’s and journalists from the area.
“Poland must immediately stop pushing back people to Belarus”.
Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition said:
“The refugees on the Poland/Belarus border who are in the most desperate conditions are fleeing war and its consequences. The Middle East wars were backed by Western governments and we should help the victims.
“This border crisis should not be the reason for further military conflict. Instead the refugees should be welcome in the EU and Britain.”
Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism said:
“Seeking asylum is not a crime. In Poland, France and the UK basic rights have been rejected and replaced with racism and hostility. Refugees are welcome here. We have to reject the racism of this government and the European Union’’.
Kate Hudson from CND said:
‘’CND condemns the deployment of British troops at the Polish border where refugees are trapped. This is a humanitarian crisis not a military scenario. How can the mobilising of troops, tanks and fighter jets possibly be justified?
“These are very vulnerable people, many of whom are fleeing wars that the UK has been involved in. They are not a dangerous force from which Poland needs to be ‘defended’, and Poland’s invoking of the NATO ‘collective defence principle’ is disproportionate beyond belief.
“This is a completely unnecessary military escalation which is putting the refugees at increased risk of death and harm. We call for British troops – and all NATO forces – to be withdrawn immediately. “