Yesterday, I joined in the European march for the refugee rights society of Brighton, calling for the authorities to take action to open safe passage routes for all asylum seekers and refugees. At the end of the demonstration, we created a throng of people lying down, in imitation of the heart-breaking death of refugees on their way to European countries.
Lying down on the street, opening my eyes, I saw vast blue skies, and seagulls flying overhead. Beside me was a small old English woman, neatly dressed with a red fluffy cap covering half of her blonde curly hair. I asked her softly if she wanted to hold hands. She said that she did, and our hands clutched each other warmly and tightly. Hers were shaking. I worriedly asked if she was alright. She explained that she had Parkinson’s and it was not because of the cold. She then asked me why I had come today and what I was doing in Brighton. She told me she was a teacher of Buddhism and meditation at a centre in the town. I asked what made her come today and whether she was involved in any social organisations. She replied ‘No, I came here because of love and compassion’. In her hands, she was tightly clutching the sign, ‘Don’t let fear cloud our compassion – Refugee Solidarity’. At that moment, looking into the deep blue eyes of this small woman, with Parkinson’s, standing in the cold of England, I realised that there are still dreamers in this world…
– #safepasssage means legal and safe routes: no more deaths at our borders
– #safepasssage means protection for refugees on their travel through Europe
– #safepasssage means adequate standards of reception and asylum in all European countries, no longer diminishing the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, allowing refugees to keep their belongings, allowing them to be reunited with their families and providing stability as far as their right of residence is concerned.
Brighton, UK, 28 February 2016