Anti-war and community activists and trade unionists gathered in King's Lynn for a vigil for refugees who have drowned and to oppose the government's hostile environment, reports Jacqueline Mulhallen
On Sunday 30 January King’s Lynn and District Trades Council and King’s Lynn and Wisbech Stop the War came together for a vigil in the Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn to remember those drowned in the Channel. There were over 20 present and Jo Rust, of the Trades Council, said it was “one of the most in attendance at a vigil I’ve attended.” She added:
“It was heartening to see that the people of King’s Lynn and Wisbech care about those who they have never met, but who might have been a part of our community had they reached our shores. There is no such thing as ‘an illegal’.”
The names of many of those who have drowned were read by a founding member of Kings Lynn and Wisbech Stop the War, Dr. Tariq Khatri. Fr. Angela Rayner (Assistant Curate, King’s Lynn Minster), spoke of the need to support refugees, and said that basic humanity called on us to regret these deaths and to work to prevent any more in the future. Nick Williams brought support from the Wisbech and March District Trades Council.
It was agreed to send a letter to the local papers, and 17 people added their signatures. £50 was collected for the RNLI in acknowledgment of their role in saving lives at sea without prejudice and their resistance to government pressure. There was enthusiasm for repeating the vigil perhaps on World Refugee Day and making it an annual event.
Jacqueline Mulhallen, actor and playwright, has co-ordinated King’s Lynn Stop the War since 2003 and initiated and organised 14 Women for Change talks for King’s Lynn & District Trades Council (2012/2013). Her books include The Theatre of Shelley (Openbooks, 2010), and a Shelley biography (Pluto Press, 2015). Her plays include 'Sylvia' and 'Rebels and Friends’.
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