Europeans march in solidarity with refugees

Tens of thousands of people gather across Europe to take part in pro-refugee demonstrations, however, not everyone shows same support

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Europeans gathered together on Saturday across several countries to protest their governments' stances on the refugee crisis which has been described as the biggest migration of people since World War II.

Demonstrators swept through the streets of London holding banners reading signs such as "Refugees welcome here," "No human being is illegal," and "Refugee lives matter" as they headed towards Downing Street, home of UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron has recently revised his country’s refugee policy and accepted taking up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years. However, he is still under pressure to do more. 

Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, was also in the crowd. 

Newly elected leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn

"Open your hearts and open your minds...towards supporting people who are desperate, who need somewhere safe to live, want to contribute to our society, and are human beings just like all of us" he said while addressing demonstrators.

Similar protest were also seen in other countries on Saturday.

Close to 30,000 pro refugee demonstrators gathered outside the parliament in the Danish capital Copenhagen on Saturday after Denmark stated that it had already accepted enough asylum seekers and would not accept a further 160,000 refugees as proposed the by the European Commission.r states refuse refugee relocation plan

Sweden's capital Stockholm witnessed about 1,000 protesters calling for further refugee support.

Gatherings were also held in Austria, Greece, Finland and Australia.

While thousands urged their governments to do more for refugees, protesters in Eastern Europe criticised their governments' pro refugee stance. 

Counter-demonstrations took place in regions such as Prague, the Slovak capital Bratislava and Polish capital Warsaw, where close to 5,000 people chanted anti-Islamic slogans as they marched through the streets. 

Protest against migrants in Polish capital Warsaw

Europe's largest country, Germany, has so far shown the biggest support to refugees taking desperate measures to flee war and poverty. 

More than 9,000 refugees entered the German city of Munich on Saturday and more are on the way. 

The Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, has called for urgent support and further aid from other German regions.

European Union (EU) Ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday to address the humanitarian crisis and are expected to decide on a solution to cope with the current influx of refugees.

Since the start of the year, a record of 423,761 refugees crossed the Mediterranean in a desperate struggle to seek asylum in the EU, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Friday. This is more than twice the figure of 219,000 for all of 2014.

TRTWorld and agencies