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Campaign from the Refugee Buddy Project, April 30th, 2020

Social Media Campaign offering Alternative Narrative of Welcome and Solidarity

On Thursday 30th April 2020, a social media campaign will be launched by the Refugee Buddy Project in Hastings/St Leonards.

Proclaiming a narrative of welcome and solidarity to all those seeking refuge on our shores, this initiative, directed by Alex Kempton from the Refugee Buddy Project Organising committee, seeks – in her words – to “push back against the misinformation being spread online about refugees, why they come here, and what their lives are like.” In recent weeks, several hundred desperate people have landed on the South East coast of the UK, at beaches from Hastings to Dover (see here for details). They are all fleeing unliveable lives, both in their home countries, and then in Northern France where conditions for those seeking refuge are the worst they have ever been with the Covid virus crisis impacting their already precarious lives, and ongoing police brutality and harassment. These reports on what has been happening in recent weeks give some context to the decision of people to risk their lives and set off across the sea.

Hastings Community of Sanctuary supports this initiative to counter some of the myths about those who try to escape to what they hope will be a kinder welcome with us in the UK; see here for an account of the ‘truth’ about refugees. Those participating in this campaign hope to show solidarity with our fellow human beings who arrive on their fragile boats when they manage to cross the dangerous seas along our coast. For further details of this campaign, and how to join, see here.

Felicity Laurence, Chair HCoS