Action for Syrian refugees – Westminster rally
In the past year Jesuit communities, parishes and works in London have been actively involved with Citizens UK's campaign to keep a spotlight on our government's response to the refugee crisis.
Now Citizens UK is moving on to pressure David Cameron to keep his pledge, which includes 1,000 refugee children from the camps in Lebanon to be resettled in the UK by Christmas. So far, over the last 18 months, only 216 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the UK, and progress is still glacially slow.
So - on Tuesday 13 October from 6.30pm - 7.30pm in Old Palace Yard, in front of the House of Lords Citizens UK is organizing a rally asking David Cameron:
(a) to honour his pledge of 1,000 children by Christmas
(b) to up the number of Syrian refugees we take in over the next 5 years from 20,000 to 50,000 and
(c) to investigate private sponsorship - where people or communities can sponsor incoming refugees - an idea which ties in closely with Pope Francis's suggestion that religious communities and parishes should sponsor refugees.
This will be an orderly, brief and well thought through action. MPs whose constituencies contain the 22 councils who have offered housing for Syrian refugees will be invited to attend and asked to convey the message of the meeting to Mr Cameron. The media will be invited. There will be a special Advent Calendar for Mr Cameron, with a countdown to Christmas Day, by which time we want to see the first 1,000 children resettled in Britain. The deaths of refugees from cold in the camps in Lebanon last winter will be commemorated.
It is very important that large numbers of people attend the rally - the government needs to know how much people care about this issue, and to realise that what they do and don't do is being carefully watched.
Please make a very special effort to be there, and to bring along colleagues, friends and family! Please share this event on social media