At 5:15 on the 17th June 2016 a group of supporters gathered in front of St Michael le Belfrey Church, York to demonstrate support for the cars, goods and money travelling from York in the hope of reaching Calais on the 18th June. Speakers from York City of Sanctuary, Refugee Action York, York Stand Up To Racism, York Trades Union Council and the organisers York People’s Assembly, along with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Dave Taylor who had attended with the civic party.#
It had been hoped that Rachael Maskell MP would attend but the murder of Jo Cox MP the previous day had left her upset and unable to attend. In honour of Jo Cox Graham read out a speech on refugees that Jo had made to Parliament. The Lord Mayor spoke of York as a city of sanctuary and his pleasure that York was joining the convoy to Calais.
We all wish our comrades a safe journey to Dover, and the hope that the French authorities let them through to the camp and refugees. We will, no doubt, be holding a meeting on their return to York.
York People’s Assembly’s ‘We’ve Got No Trust Fund’ appeal this week brought in an incredible £550 in online donations in 48 hours. Unlike Cameron, we’ve never benefited from a trust fund squirrelled away in a tax haven. Many thanks to everyone who gave – we’ll be able to go on campaigning for months to come. The appeal page is still open for more donations, should others wish to contribute.
Back in February, a few of us travelled down the Trident Demo in London with members of Doncaster people’s assembly. As these long coach journeys are usually rather tedious, it has usually been a tradition to break it up, as it were, with an ‘open mic’ session. Representatives from various groups are invited up to talk about campaigns going on in their respective cities. One of the people who really stood out was Louise Harrison, who spoke eloquently and passionately about the campaign to save Doncaster women’s aid. Continue reading
When the group of York University social work students planning to take supplies to the refugee ‘jungle’ in Calais came to a York People’s Assembly meeting, as we’d offered our support, we asked them to report back on their experience following the visit at the end of September. Continue reading
Wedneday, 4th November 7:30-9:00pm, Friends Meeting House, Friargate
At the end of September, a group of Students from York took a lorry packed with donations from local people to the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais. We’re hosting a public meeting sharing what they saw during their visit, and to discuss future practical and political action for refugees.
The meeting will be in three parts. The first part will be the eyewitness accounts of what they saw in the camps, in the second part they will be taking any questions people might have, and in the final part we will be discussing any further action that we might take.
We’ll be having a collection, with everything minus the venue hire cost going to projects working with the refugees.
A coach full of pensioners arrived in York, Monday, for a daytrip with a difference. They came as part of the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders campaign and they headed straight for Northern Rail HQ. Over a dozen York people welcomed them and joined their march into town for a brief rally. The Freedom Riders are demanding the return of free local travel for pensioners and the disabled. Northern Rail refused to meet with them, despite their compromise proposal.