Convoy to Calais

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By Bridget Taylor

We are witnessing the biggest influx of refugees in Europe since the Second World War. In 2015 alone more than a million people fled from war-torn countries around the world desperately trying to reach a better life.

The journey is made incredibly arduous – and some do not survive. In one month in 2015, over 1,200 people drowned in the Mediterranean. For those that do survive, the welcome is not a warm one.

There are currently around 6,000 people, including hundreds of unaccompanied children, living in desperate conditions in ‘the jungle’ – the Calais camp only an hour from London. These refugees are making nightly attempts to enter the UK in order to claim asylum but are often brutally deterred by French police.

Neither the French nor the UK governments are claiming responsibility for these human beings who have suffered war, deprivation and trauma and are now living without any comfort or stability. In April, the government voted against an amendment to the immigration bill that would have allowed 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the UK.

On the 18th of June there is going to be a national rally in London protesting the government’s actions and demonstrating solidarity with refugees. An aid convoy will then set off to Calais to deliver money, clothing and other essential donations. Trade unionists, anti-racism campaigners and students and lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester are organising an Education bloc to take part in the convoy and also contribute to a future summer school in the camp.

There are a number of ways you can support the Convoy to Calais, please find more information below:

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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