I don’t consider my self to be particularly political. I listen to the news and I follow with varying degrees of interest national and international events. I don’t have a strong political allegiance and have voted for all of the three main parties during my voting lifetime. Many may call me politically apathetic, and maybe they are right.
We are faced with so many awful pictures of events going on in war torn countries these days its easy to become desensitized. We see images and we hear news reports but we don’t really see them or we don’t really hear them. However like so many I have become increasingly concerned about the plight of those refugees and migrants leaving Syria in dire circumstances, risking and losing their lives in order to find a place of safety .
Over a week ago, we awoke to the shocking picture of a little Syrian boys body washed up on a Turkish beach. That picture was and is heartbreaking, It was impossible to see this and not be moved to tears. How can we live in a world where parents are so desperate they are prepared to risk their children’s lives in this way. For me this isn’t so much a political issue as a humanitarian one. It can never be acceptable for children to die like this.
As a response to this a number of organisations including Amnesty International, and The Refugee Council, came together to organise a Solidarity with Refugees rally and march in central London. I haven’t been on a march since Student days when I marched against The Poll Tax (as it was then), and I can’t honestly say I have really considered it since. However it seemed important and necessary to go on this one. I’m so glad I did. It was indeed a show of solidarity. Young and old, children, students, working classes and middle classes came together in a peaceful demonstration. This was tens of thousands of people uniting to voice an opinion, to show care and concern for our fellow human beings. It was a privilege to be there and a privilege to live in a nation where we can still practice our democratic rights without fearing for our lives.