#UCanStayHere - Light a candle for the refugees asks Mayor

Three year-old Aylan Kurdi who drowned when the boat he was travelling in capsized off the coast of Turkey.
Three year-old Aylan Kurdi who drowned when the boat he was travelling in capsized off the coast of Turkey.

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Elisha McCallion, is asking the people of the district to show their support for the refugees affected by the current migrant crisis by posting a special message using social media.

Mayor McCallion would like as many people as possible to place a candle and a brief message of support at a window between 8-9pm today (Friday), take a photograph and post it on social media with the hashtag, #UCanStayHere.

“This is a small gesture by the people of Derry and Strabane that we will not sit back and let this humanitarian issue pass us by. We want to help in whatever way we can and we are more than happy to welcome refugees to our city and region,” said Derry’s First Citizen.

Meanwhile, trade unionists in Derry are organising a rally in support of the refugees.

The rally will start at the Waterside Railway Station on Saturday at 2pm and will then make its way to Guildhall Square where there will be speeches from trade unionists, human rights activists and refugees.

“The photograph of three year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach in Turkey has awoken the consciousness of the Western world,” said Secretary of Derry Trades Council and Chairman of the Irish Executive of Unite, Liam Gallagher.

“Aylan was one of 3,000 people to drown trying to make their way to safety.

“The reaction of the British government is deplorable. Given the fact aggressive foreign policy and their actions with the Americans has resulted in the death of more than 550,000 people in Iraq and has reduced Libya to a tribal lawless country.”

Mr. Gallagher added: “Saturday’s rally is being organised so that we can send a message to the British and Irish governments. We need them to respond to this crisis by addressing it effectively and urgently.”

Elsewhere, MP for Foyle, Mark Durkan raised concerns Derry people have for the refugees at Westminster on Wednesday.

“We have to meet our responsibilities in relation to those who have made it to Europe and in relation to the wider crisis,” said Mr. Durkan.