Even at a distance on approaching the the Union, signs could clearly be read ’71 people died in this space’ accompanying a small cordoned off area.
This display comes as part of a demonstration conducted by LUU Amnesty International society following the tragic deaths of 71 refugees in August of this year.
The 59 men, 8 women, and 4 children had been travelling in an enclosed freezer truck from Hungary to Austria, although officials believe that all individuals inside the lorry had suffocated before it passed into Austria from Hungary.
The refugees in question were said to have been of Syrian origin, seeking safety from the conflicts of their home country and joining the staggering 9 million others who have fled since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011.
The LUU Amnesty International society hopes with demonstrations such as these, the magnitude of the migrant crisis may be realised by the people of Leeds, allowing productive action to be taken in order to aid those in need.
The society’s primary goal from the demonstration is to gain signatures on a petition to Leeds central MP and shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn to take action against this crisis.
Leeds city council’s current pledge to take on 200 refugees over the course of the next two years is especially modest for a supposed ‘City of Sanctuary’ after considering that the number of empty properties in Leeds currently stands at 15,000.
As expressed by the society; “Everyone has a human right to shelter, a right to work, and to refuge, and we believe that Leeds City Council and the UK Government has the capacity to save the lives of thousands of refugees more than they are currently pledging to”.
(Image courtesy of Nancy Kehelar)