Vigil to be held in Derry to demand Britain opens its borders to refugees

Eamonn McCann
Eamonn McCann

A vigil is being held in Derry on Thursday to demand that Britain opens its borders to refugees.

The protest is being organised by the People Before Profit organisation.

The image of a Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a beach has reinforced calls for Prime Minister David Cameron to take in more asylum seekers from conflict zones.

Protest organiser Eamonn McCann said: “I think that the voice of the public needs to be heard.”

He said the West was responsible for helping create the humanitarian crisis because of interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq and accused Mr Cameron of not doing enough.

“We don’t think that he speaks for all the people he claims to represent, certainly not the people of Derry. Across Europe people should be raising their voices against this horrendous scandal on Europe’s borders.

“We are part of what will develop into a mass movement ... open the borders.”

Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rihan drowned off the coast of Bodrum in Turkey having failed to make it to the Greek island of Kos.

The Guildhall Square vigil is being supported by trade unionists and speakers have been invited from the North West Migrants Forum and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM).