In one of the largest demonstrations the city has seen for years, over a thousand people marched the streets yesterday, calling for refugees to be made welcome in York.
Starting in torrential rain at St. Helen’s Square and finishing with blue skies at the Minster, the weather on the day was perhaps symbolic of the way attitudes have changed in Britain towards the humanitarian crisis. In the past weeks, some of the world’s most desperate people have faced an onslaught of abuse and degradation from our media and government. Yesterday marked the beginning of a compassionate approach to the issue from ordinary people, coinciding with events across the country.
On Thursday 16th July, approximately 60 people gathered in St Helen’s Square to protest about the anti-homeless bars installed on benches on Rougier Street, prior to Richard Bridge handing in a petition of 5,400 signatures calling for their removal. People turned up with sleeping bags and blankets and at 5.30 and took over St Helen’s Square to stage a “sleep-in” and raise awareness of the issues faced by the rising number of homeless people in York.
Members of Unison were also protesting about cuts to Facility Time for union representatives working for the council, and once the sleep-in was over, York People’s Assembly joined this protest to show solidarity. Continue reading