Date: Sep 12 (Sat)
Location: Chater Garden, Central
The tragic death of the three year old Syrian refugee child on a Turkish beach has shocked the world, thousands of people around the world have come out in solidarity protests, demanding that governments should do more to protect the safety and the asylum rights of refugees. 12 Sep will be the International Day of Refugees’ Solidarity, there will be similar protest actions in Australia, UK, Sweden, Germany and Taiwan.
100s of thousands of people are currently fleeing the horrors of war, dictatorship and conflict in the Middle East and Africa. Most are left dispossessed and hungry within their own countries or in neighbouring ones. A minority – able to scrape together a few more resources – end up in the hands of the people smugglers, risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean. Racist immigration policies pursued by European Capitalism have led to the creation of “Fortress Europe”- A seemingly impenetrable barrier that condemns 1000s of people seeking refuge to their death.
It is a lie that there are no resources available. British governments have spent vast sums on going to war. The costs of replacing Trident are estimated at £100 billion over its lifetime. The cost of the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan has reached £30 billion, £1,000 for every tax payer in Britain.
But while vast sums can be found for war, there are barely pennies for asylum seekers fleeing the consequences of those wars. Control of decisions whether to grant asylum cannot be left in the hands of the callous European governments.
In Hong Kong, the neo-liberal CY Leung government has always been pursuing extremely inhuman policies towards the 9000 asylum seekers in the city, the policy of Social Welfare Department forcing refugees to live in illegal slums has already caused the death of one refugee.
To show international solidarity is to fight for the right to asylum for those fleeing war, sectarian conflict and dictatorship. This should be combined with supporting the right for families to be reunited and calling for an end to asylum seekers being treated like criminals and locked up in detention centres which are no different to prisons.
We call for everyone to come to the street on Sep 12, to join the protest defending refugees’ rights, to demand safe pathways for refugees to escape war and terror.