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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Take Action to revive the Spirit of the Kindertransport – Wednesday 24 June

Kindertransport memorial by Frank Meisler.
Photo by Paul Dean via Wikipedia.
As part of their campaign on refugee resettlement, Citizens UK are lobbying Parliament on Wednesday 24th of June.

Daniel Mackintosh of Citizens UK writes:

On the 25th of June 2015 the Prime Minister goes to the EU Council.  One of the issues on the agenda is the European Commission’s plan to relocate migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean throughout the EU on a quota basis.  The Prime Minister has indicated that Britain will exercise its ‘opt-out’ and will not participate in that scheme.  However, given that the UK will not agree to relocation, we are calling on the Prime Minister to agree additional resettlement, given that only 187 Syrians (of the 4.27 million Syrian refugees) have been resettled since the crisis began. Resettlement takes people directly and safely from the camps, avoiding boats and smugglers and the dangerous Mediterranean crossing.

Therefore, on Wednesday June 24 2015, Citizens UK leaders, faith leaders, recent refugees from Syria and people who came to the UK on the Kindertransport (the British program that saved 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis) will meet at Liverpool Street Station (where many of the Jewish children arrived) and walk to Parliament to lobby MPs prior to Prime Minister’s Questions.  We will hand over details of all the communities, organisations, and councils across the UK who are willing to welcome such refugees, with the proposal that the government aims to relocate the equivalent of at least 50 refugees in 50 local authority areas across the UK.

Today, we are asking you to take 2 actions.
  1. If you are in a Labour constituency across the country, please send the attached letter to your MP, asking them to ask Harriet Harman to dedicate on her PMQs on June 7 to increasing the UK’s commitment to resettlement. Please email me to let me know you have done so.

  2. Turn-out by joining us on the day—please can you send me, Daniel, the names of people who are joining us.

Contact Daniel Mackintosh for more details if you are coming to the demonstration.

Below is a draft letter to MPs. You can find details of your MP here, and also email them here, though a personal written letter may be more effective.


Dear —

Re: Support our action—Survivors of the Kindertransport and Syrian refugees call on the UK to resettle significantly more refugees

I am writing to ask whether you would ask Labour Leader, Harriet Harman MP, as part of her Prime Ministers Questions on 24 June 2015, to support our action by asking the Prime Minister why the UK has resettled so few refugees, in particular those from Syria.

As you know, on June 25 2015 the Prime Minister goes to the EU Council.  One of the issues on the agenda is the European Commission’s plan to relocate migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean throughout the EU on a quota basis.  The Prime Minister has indicated that Britain will exercise its ‘opt-out’ and will not participate in that scheme.  However, if the UK will not agree to relocation, then the Prime Minister may agree to additional resettlement, given that only 187 Syrians (of the 4.27 million Syrian refugees) have been resettled since the crisis began. Resettlement takes people directly and safely from the camps, avoiding boats and smugglers and the dangerous Mediterranean crossing.

On Wednesday June 24 2015, Citizens UK leaders, faith leaders, recent refugees from Syria and people who came to the UK on the Kindertransport (the British program that saved 10 000 Jewish children from the Nazis) will meet at Liverpool Street Station (where many of the Jewish children arrived) at 09:00 and walk to Parliament to lobby MPs prior to Prime Minister’s Questions.  We will hand over details of all the communities, organisations, and councils across the UK who are willing to welcome such refugees, with the proposal that the government aims to relocate the equivalent of at least 50 refugees in 50 local authority areas across the UK.

Here is a proposed PMQ for Labour Leader, Harriet Harman MP, to ask as part of her allocated 7 questions on June 24 2015:

We commend the Prime Minister for being one of the largest aid donors to Syria for the 4.27 million people who need help in the biggest refugee crisis in the past 20 years. But the UN says it is not safe for some refugees to remain in the area and so they need to be resettled in other countries. At the same time day after day after day we see the terrible deaths in the Mediterranean.

In another era great statesmen and women established the Kindertransport scheme which saved the lives of over 10,000 children, from Nazi persecution. You have indicated, Mr Prime Minister, that you have no desire to be part of mandatory relocation schemes from Europe. But given the desperate situation, members of charity Citizens UK, among whom are survivors of the Kindertransport scheme and recently resettled Syrian refugee children who’ve fled violence in Syria, have joined us here at Parliament. Citizens UK members have offered practical support, including housing in private accommodation and convincing their local authorities to join the resettlement schemes. They are here to ask you whether we can we do more than resettle the 187 Syrians refugees we have thus far? What number of lives, of families and futures will you commit us to for voluntary resettlement?

If you do write to Harriet Harman MP, please let us know.

Thank you for working with us to revive the spirit of the Kindertransport and provide sanctuary for a group of vulnerable refugees.

Sincerely —

1 comment:

  1. Very short notice, but it would be SOOO good if Syrians (and pro Syrian activists) could join the survivors of the Jewish children's transport programme across Europe during World War 2. The echoes of catastrophe and (reluctant) rescue are haunting

    ReplyDelete