Queer activist group marks the desperate suffering of Mediterranean crossings
THE OVER 4,200 deaths of refugees crossing the seas to Europe in 2016 were remembered by activists at the Cenotaph this weekend.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, a group inspired by the 80s solidarity group ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’, held a march and wreath laying ceremony through the centre of Whitehall in London.
More than 4,200 people have died trying to reach Europe in 2016, in the deadliest year on record after the escalation of the refugee crisis.
The campaigners dressed in black with pink veils while holding a remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph with a minute’s silence.
The ceremony coincided with the Remembrance Sunday weekend, held to remember the death and suffering of war.
Sam Smith from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants said: “The past year has been the deadliest ever in the Mediterranean Sea with more than 4,200 refugees already having needlessly lost their lives. This tragedy is directly linked to conflicts that UK armed forces are participating in and that UK companies are fuelling with weapons sales. We can’t let the thousands of dead and missing refugees be forgotten, and we must take every step we can to bring an end this shameful tragedy."
Alex Jones from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants added: “At this time of remembrance and reflection, we cannot forget those men, women, and children who have died trying to reach safety. We must not let any more people die at our borders. We need safe passage now for people crossing the Mediterranean.”
The LGBT community has often found itself at the forefront of campaigns against bigotry and oppression. The original ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ group recognised that their struggle against bigotry was connected to the workers’ fight for justice against the government of Margaret Thatcher.
Its efforts were recently immortalised in the film ‘Pride’.
Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants was founded in this tradition. The group supports migrants and refugees through fundraising activities and “use creative action to disrupt the narrative that pits LGBTQIA+ people against migrants.”
Pictures courtesy of Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
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