Campaigners to demand #safepassage at Londonderry migrant monument

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A campaign group will gather at a poignant sculpture commemorating the hundreds of thousands of migrants who left Londonderry in the 18th and 19th centuries to call for safe passge for their latter-day counterparts fleeing war and chaos in the Middle East and the Maghreb this weekend.

Aideen Hughes from the Derry Refugee Solidarity Group, said: “With no peaceful solution for these wars and conflicts in sight, we are calling on the people of Derry to add their voices to the worldwide call for a viable humanitarian solution to the ongoing refugee and migration crisis.

“We will be holding the Derry event at ‘The Emigrants’ sculpture beside the River Foyle, a poignant reminder of when our own citizens had to leave their home country in order to seek a better life elsewhere.”

Londonderry will join more than 100 cities from 23 countries worldwide in a day of action to seek #SafePassage for refugees and migrants.

United under the banner of “Safe Passage NOW!, people across Europe, in Turkey, the United States, Canada and Israel will gather in key cities to demand that their governments offer safe passage routes for those who have had to flee their homes due to wars and conflicts in countries including Syria and Libya.

The #SafePassage movement is seeking the opening of legal and secure routes to safety; diplomatic access to asylum in third countries and humanitarian visas; full compliance with human rights and refugee rights treaties, adequate protection for refugees on their travels throughout Europe, and adequate standards of reception and asylum in all European countries.

The Londonderry #SafePassage event will take place from 2pm on Saturday, February 27 beside ‘The Emigrants’ sculpture near Sainsbury’s and is open to everyone.

Guest speakers will include local politician Eamonn McCann and Peter Fox from Donegal who has recently returned from volunteering with refugees in Lesbos.