Eamonn Mccann: Support #400Welcomes Campaign

Derry City and Strabane Council is to be asked to invite 40 refugees to come and live in the council area.The invitation comes in a People Before Profit motion to be moved by Eamonn McCann at a council meeting this Thursday. The motion refers to thousands of people trapped in camps on Greek islands after being rescued from drowning as they tried to cross the Mediterranean in dinghies and small boats. 

“This is a very modest proposal,” said Mr. McCann. 
“It is inspired by the #400Welcomes initiative launched by women working in the refugee camps. After the Dublin government agreed to accept four children from the camps, 20 women signed a letter asking that the number be increased to 400 of all ages. It’s still a very modest number. 
“Our proposal is that Derry City and Strabane Council attach its name to this initiative, make our contribution. We route our invite through the Home Office in London because, legally, that’s what’s required to make the idea into a reality. 
“We in People Before Profit believe that the bulk of people in the council area will have no problem with this. Many, like ourselves in People Before Profit, would be happy to go much further. But we believe and hope that the terms of this motion will be acceptable to everyone on the council. 
“The effect might be to encourage other councils, here in the North and further afield, to adopt a similar stance.”
Eamonn can be contacted on 07977924321
Full motion below and link to campaign:
Council notes that around 13,000 people who fled the fire which destroyed the Moira
refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last month are living in dire conditions in
makeshift settlements even as winter tightens its grip.
Families forced to abandon rag-tents and flimsy shelters in Moira now exist in even less
humane and dignified circumstances in flung-up camps elsewhere on Lesbos, refugees twice over.

Recognising their desperate situation, and in response to pleas from all over Europe, the
Ministry for Migrants in Athens has undertaken to “accelerate” the Lesbos refugees’
claims for asylum. However, this process depends on other countries’ willingness to bid
them welcome.

The #400Welcomes campaign was established to call for agencies across the island of
Ireland to agree to welcome 400 women, men and children from Lesbos island – families,
survivors of torture and gender-based violence, those with medical needs and those making the journey alone.

This Council agrees to support the #400Welcomes campaign; to write to the Home Office
to outline our support; and to ask the Home Office to facilitate the early arrival of 40 of the #400 to the Derry City and Strabane area.

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