The South East Essex Green Party was proud to help organise this demonstration in aid of the Ukrainian Refugees outside the office of the new Conservative MP Anna Firth this evening.
Local Green Party members joined residents in calling for an end to the “hostile environment” treatment of Refugees fleeing war and seeking asylum. The government’s approach in continuing to slam the door in the face of people in desperate need brings shame on our country.
The Green Party’s national Migration and Refugee Support Spokesperson, Benali Hamdache:
“Priti Patel is making our country look cruel and incompetent in the face of the humanitarian disaster. But Labour’s failure to back visa-free access is even more shocking. The need to waive visas has never been more pressing.
My family fled oppression and conflict during the Algerian War of Independence. It’s heartbreaking to see refugees treated like political footballs and infuriating to see our Home Secretary get away with it.
But what is even more alarming is that the Home Secretary is using her position to distort the discussion about refugees, while also being on the verge of delivering the biggest change to our asylum process in decades.“
Local Green Party member Jon Fuller:
“Like everyone else we were horrified by the images coming out of Ukraine but felt our government’s response was beyond callous. So we decided to organise a demonstration outside the local MPs office this evening. Steph made a homemade banner with the message ‘Admit the refugees NOW’ and we suggested people bring a simple placard with the word ‘Now’ on it. We had a great turnout.
I thought it was important to hear from a local refugee, Stanford, who spoke about his experience and the plight of all refugees. Then the magnificent Tim Sneller set the wider agenda. I said a couple of words at the outset.
I have emailed my MP, Anna Firth. I focussed upon the appalling failure by our government, mentioning crisps, KitKat bars and visas. I condemned the Home Secretary for the chaos and also took the opportunity to condemn the Foreign Secretary for lying about the suggestion some Brits might travel to Ukraine to fight. The national security implications are enormous – at times like this it is absolutely crucial that Ministers behave with honesty and integrity so that an adversary knows whether our words can or cannot be trusted.”
The local branch Coordinator, James Vessey-Miller:
“I was pleased to have helped organise this impromptu protest in aid of the Ukrainian Refugees outside the office of our new Conservative MP Anna Firth this evening.
The government expecting innocent refugees fleeing war to be capable of applying for visas from temporary camps across Europe is scandalous, and again highlights that the Tories’ hostile environment policy is alive and kicking.
Europe is rightly welcoming and offering safe sanctuary to these people, and it is shameful that we continue to slam the door in the face of fellow Europeans in their hour of desperate need.
My friend Tim mentioned at tonight’s demo that it is utterly outrageous that the Tories continue to politicise the border, and that much of their messaging about this situation continues their much recited ‘build the wall’ Brexit war-cries. It is horrendous that Priti Patel (who is herself a descendant of immigrants) continues to turn away desperate people to placate the Conservative-voting demographic. Shame.
I was proud also to bring along the EU flag this evening. What we need at this moment, in my opinion, is united European solidarity in aid of the Ukrainian people. This flag still represents those of us that hold the cooperative spirit of an undivided continent in our hearts. I hope dearly that Europe’s leading by example will eventually pressure the UK into helping these innocent people.”