Speaking for Ourselves

Demonstrators call on government to welcome Afghan refugees in Birmingham

Demonstrators call on government to welcome Afghan refugees in Birmingham

Sundus Abdi

 Migrant Voice - Demonstrators call on government to welcome Afghan refugees in Birmingham


Last weekend, a large rally was held in the heart of Birmingham to call upon the UK government to welcome Afghan refugees into the city.

Demonstrators congregated in Victoria Square and St Phillips Cathedral on Saturday (28 August) to share their support for those fleeing the current conflict in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis following the withdrawal of Western forces and the subsequent Taliban takeover. Many campaigners have called on overseas governments to take in those escaping the country.  

Anti-racism group Stand Up To Racism UK organised the rally in Birmingham, with the protests aiming to push the government to increase their support for refugees and stand in solidarity with those seeking refuge. 

The UK has agreed to take in 20,000 refugees over a five-year period under a resettlement scheme, with around 5,000 refugees being given shelter this year. This is in addition to its Afghan relocations and assistance policy (Arap), which seeks to offer relocation to former government employees in Afghanistan. 

Doug Morgan, of Stand Up To Racism UK, said: “It’s simply unimaginable what people are going through there [in Afghanistan]...We are saying to people if they want to get out, they will be welcomed.

“Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK has been built on waves of immigration and this has made all of our lives much richer. The refugees who come here will add to this too and the government should ensure that the refugees can work, access services and be part of communities just like anyone else.

“Whether people want to stay forever or for a short period, they should be treated as citizens and not unwanted house guests.”

Migrant Voice supported the rally along with a number of speakers from Afghan communities in the West Midlands, Stand Up To Racism Birmingham, and Birmingham Trades Union Council. 

Nazek Ramadan, Director of Migrant Voice, said: “We have seen a marked shift in public opinion in support for Afghan refugees, and the government must step up and do the right thing in the international efforts to give protection to all Afghans who desperately need to reach safety.”

Image Credit: Courtesy of Salman Mirza

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Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
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Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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