On Thursday 24th October, Oxford Stand up to Racism called a vigil in solidarity with the 39 people found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex. The event intended to mark the tragic loss of life and call for urgent action to ensure safe passage and a fair system to those fleeing war and poverty.
The vigil took place at Carfax Tower from 5.30-6.30pm, and was one of a number of vigils called by Stand up to Racism in towns and cities across the UK in response to the tragic event.
Ian McKendrick of Oxford Stand up to Racism said: “Our thoughts and solidarity go to the 39 victims and their families. They are the latest victims of the ‘hostile environment’ for refugees and migrants, that sees people forced to turn to traffickers to escape poverty and war. We need to show that refugees and migrants are welcome.”
“This government’s ‘hostile environment’, Johnson’s threats to deport EU nationals and the government’s constant use of issues around migration to drum up support inevitably lead to this kind of tragedy.”
Oxford Stand up to Racism also posted a message from Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, on their facebook page, which read: “My apologies that I cannot attend this vigil, as I am having to attend votes in the House of Commons. I was appalled to hear about the awful human tragedy that was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday morning. It is difficult to fathom the horrendous experience of those trapped in the refrigerated lorry, who appear to have died in that confined and freezing space…The memory of those 39 people must never leave us. Instead, it must prompt an urgent shift towards a decent and fair immigration system, where our country properly shoulders its international responsibilities.”
39 people were found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex last Wednesday. The bodies have all been moved to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford where they are being examined to establish cause of death. Two brothers, Ronan and Christopher Hughes, from Armagh in Northern Ireland are wanted by the police in suspicion of involvement with the incident.
Image credit- garryknight