Hundreds take to streets to show refugees are welcome in Leeds

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A rally took place in Leeds this weekend to show solidarity with refugees following an attack on a Polish man last Friday.

The 28 year old was seriously injured by a group of up to 20 youths in Alliance Street, Armley.

Seven boys aged 13 to 17 have been arrested to date.

The rally, which attracted hundreds of people, intended to show that refugees are welcome in the city and that no human is illegal.

The event, which was supported by MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development) Leeds, states that the lasting solution to the refugee crisis is to open Britain’s borders.

Charities working with refugees in Calais reported last week that the population had hit 9000 and is likely to pass 10,000 before the end of the month.

Speakers at the event included Fabian Hamilton, the Labour MP for Leeds North East, and Majestic Marvina from the Leeds Black Lives Matter organisation.

Lewis Jacobs, the President of Leeds University’s Amnesty International group, attended the rally and said: “People who stand up for social justice and equality spoke on the streets of Leeds to send a powerful reminder to the city and the government that more must be done to welcome and support those fleeing from conflict.

“We were there to continue to engage in the development of creating a compassionate community, one that stands in solidarity with refugees, and one that will not allow the government to deny its obligation to aid this humanitarian crisis.

“If people want to get involved, they can donate food to refugee and asylum seekers in Leeds through the organisation Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS). They can also donate or volunteer at Yorkshire aid collection points which sort and deliver supplies for refugees in Calais and beyond.

“It is also vital to make those seeking asylum in Leeds feel comfortable and accepted, and this is why rallies like this are so important.”

Polly Hatcher


Photo: Tami Pein

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