When Citizens Unite for Refugees
The citizen platform of support to refugees was created when Brussels saw the largest wave of immigration of the past 20 years.
In downtown, people fleeing war and persecution arrived by the thousands because they saw Europe as their last resort, their only option. In September 2015, many citizens saw on their screens, this long queue in front of the Foreign Office. Men, women and children waiting patiently, day and night, hoping to be given their asylum application. We remember these hundreds of tents, planted in the Maximilian Park, countless citizens bringing makeshift shelter to allow the refugees some comfort and rest.
They had travelled during long months, fled the bombing. They had left their homes and family with some being already dead. They came by the thousands in Europe, traumatized by the noise of the planes and shells, crossing deserts, facing all kinds of dangers. Then, they crossed the sea. We remember their fatigue, of their exhaustion, but also remembers the hope that we could read in their eyes.
Today, the situation is still dramatic. Thousands and thousands of people continue to arrive on European soil. Our Government says that if we welcome them, we wont have enough money to foster this level of migration, it is better to protect our country against this invasion. To convince some citizens, they maintain an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. The truth, and all economists agree, it costs Europe more to combat than to ensure that humanitarian safe zones station in their home countries. For our aging continent, a new population in our society can bring new economic life over the long term. Moreover, by continuing to treat refugees in an inhuman manner, it risks condemnation by the European Court of human rights.
Today, migrants are hunted down, arrested, humiliated. Their property confiscated, their rights violated. Citizens who want to provide support are asked to use their democratic right to protest in solidarity, their right to demonstrate their disagreement, their fundamental right of expression.
We are at least 33 000 citizens who say no to this repressive policy which wants to criminalize migration. We are against the principle to say that these people are undocumented. How can we say that it takes a paper to set foot on the soil of the land which belongs to humanity? How can we qualify a human illegal?
Civic Platform of support to refugees have made the choice to meet the vital needs where the Government decided to remain blind and deaf to this catastrophic situation. Every day, with donations, volunteers are making an incredible steps to help achieve what we thought impossible. Every day, people of all backgrounds, of all political beliefs and religious, of all social classes, artists, journalists, intellectuals, politicians, members of the authorities; judges, lawyers, each day the citizens are mobilizing to feed, House, advise, guide and protect refugees.
Through the platform, tens of thousands of citizens are committed to assisting in one way or another people who legitimately request asylum and protection.
If the platform exists, it is to say that we must act. This is to prevent our Government from dividing us. That’s a fair justice. This is because humans are joining forces to help other humans. This is to say that we cannot remain blind and deaf!