"You'll never walk alone”

Our letter was published in The New European on 30 August
Our letter was published in The New European on 30 August

A list of more than 34,000 refugee deaths compiled and updated every year by UNITED for Intercultural Action and disseminated by the artist Banu Cennetoğlu as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018 in Great George Street, has been repeatedly violated.

List of refugee deaths displayed by artist has been torn down again, Helen Pidd, The Guardian, 15 August 2018

A further act of desecration took place on 7 September

Liverpool Mayor condemns 'fascist thugs' who vandalised memorial to migrants and refugees,the Independent, 8 September, 2018

How could these cowardly acts of vandalism have happened in Liverpool?

We should never forget that Liverpool, a European Capital of Culture, was a transit city for the UK’s own sea-based migration and the departure point for 9 million people between 1830 and 1930.

Each time a life is lost in the Mediterranean sea, a part of Europe dies too.

Pope Francis told the European Parliament in 2014:

“We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast graveyard”.  

Yet that is exactly what the Mediterranean has become.

Meanwhile, several European governments would return migrants and refugees to countries where they might be exposed to abuse and ill-treatment instead of taking responsibility to ensure their protection.

It is the refusal of aid which constitutes a breach of international law. We cannot tolerate a situation where those who provide aid are labelled as criminals.

That is why hundreds of civil society organisations and ordinary citizens, have come together to support the European Citizens’ Initiative Campaign “We Are a Welcoming Europe” 

The ECI seeks to empower a #WelcomingEurope and prevent member states from criminalising and intimidating volunteers and NGOs who provide humanitarian help and solidarity to migrants. 

If 1 million signatures are obtained across Europe, the European Commission will be obliged to act and respond to the European Citizens’ Iniative’s proposals.

We call on people in Liverpool and across Europe to sign the petition.

It is time to say to migrants and refugees and those who protect them: “You will never walk alone”.


To sign the letter, please email:



Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool

Julie Ward MEP

Hala Alwan, #WeAreAWelcomingEurope

Roger Casale, New Europeans

Regina Catrambone, Migrant Offshore Aid Station

Mark Jackaman, Amnesty International, Liverpool Group

Dominique Guibert, Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Europe

Gracie Bradley, Liberty

Dr Ruvi Ziegler, Associate Professor of International Refugee Law, University of Reading

Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Professor in Law, Goldsmiths, University of London

Benjamin Abtan, European Grassroots Antiracist Movement

Rosie Millard OBE, Hull City of Culture 2017

Wajid Khan MEP

Theresa Griffin MEP

Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Richard Kemp, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Hetty Wood, Liverpool City Council

Cllr James Roberts, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Nick Small, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Patrick Hurley, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Adam Sykes, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Kris Brown, Liverpool City Council

Cllr Ann O’Byrne, Liverpool City Council

Dr Andrew Atter, New Europeans, NW

Jennie Geddes, Family Refugee Support Network, Liverpool

Steve Gavin, Liverpool for Europe

Prof. Helen Stalford, Children’s Rights Unit, University of Liverpool

Michael Collins, Right to Remain

Mike Stubbs, FACT Liverpool

Elisabeth Schmidt-Hieber, Platform for International Co-operation on Undocumented Migrants

Michael Privot, European Network Against Racism

Salome Mbugua, European Network of Migrant Women

Gail Rego, Missing Children

Anne Stoltenberg, Migrant Voice

Bronwen Griffiths, Syria Solidarity Campaign

Bill Harpe, The Black-E, Liverpool

Robina Quereshi, Positive Action

Ajay Chhabra, Nutkhut

Lauren Cape-Davenhill, NW Organiser, These Walls Must Fall campaign

Deborah Aydon, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Liverpool

Gemma Bodinetz, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres

Cath Larkins, Centre for Children and Young People's Participation, University of Central Lancashire

Uma Ramanathan, Brouhaha

Jenny Porter, Metal, Liverpool

Kath Grant, Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research


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