Medway City of Sanctuary provided a contingent of seven including 2 local refugees to the City of Sanctuary meeting in Westminster on Tuesday 1st December. In total about 200 from up to fifty City of Sanctuary groups attended uniting MPs with local constituents and refugees.
A good number of MPs and Lords attended our meeting hearing about and supporting City of Sanctuary aims highlighting real issues facing refugees and asylum seekers such as “safe and legal routes”, “destitution” and “unlimited detention”. Moving testimonies came from refugees who have suffered much in the current system.
On a day when there was a heavy schedule in the House of Commons in relation to the controversial Immigration bill, Medway City of Sanctuary met with one local Medway MP and began a conversation of some importance for one of our Syrian members.
All in all the day was a success with voices being heard that would not have been heard if we had not been there. However in terms of positive results much still needs to be undertaken to help our representatives understand the needs of refugees so they vote for effective measures which aid the most vulnerable as opposed to supporting measures which give no hope for those already crushed.
Stephen Goldsbrough (Medway City of Sanctuary coordinator)