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March on Downing Street to take place this Saturday after dozens of asylum seekers die in Channel


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Hundreds are set to march on Downing Street after dozens of asylum seekers died in the Channel.

The protest is being organised in the wake of yesterday's tragedy which saw 28 people, including three children and a pregnant woman, die while trying to reach the UK.

Asylum seekers are brought to shore. Picture: UKNIP
Asylum seekers are brought to shore. Picture: UKNIP

Migrant charity Care4Calais is hosting the event with organisation Stand Up To Racism to call for the government to scrap its Nationality and Borders Bill and spread the message that "refugees are welcome here".

The march is due to take place outside Downing Street at 2pm.

A Facebook page created for the event describes it as an "emergency solidarity protest".

Yesterday's disaster saw dozens of peoplen die off Calais when their flimsy overloaded dinghy capsized.

It was biggest loss of life yet during the Channel crossings crisis.

A major rescue operation took place in the Channel after yesterday's tragedy. Library picture
A major rescue operation took place in the Channel after yesterday's tragedy. Library picture

It has been met with anguish by charities that have long campaigned to tackle the "dangerous" situation faced at the border by people trying to reach the UK.

Boris Johnson today called for joint patrols with France.

But hours after the incident yesterday Mr Johnson had blamed France, while Emmanuel Macron pointed the finger in the opposite direction.

Politicians said the tragedy underlines the need to clamp down on people traffickers - whom they labelled murderers - who help facilitate perilous Channel crossings.

But charities including Care4Calais say the focus should instead be upon creating a "safe and legal" way for people to claim asylum, which would eradicate the need for such attempts.

The Facebook page for Saturday's march says: "Our thoughts are with those who have lost their lives, and their loved ones."

It brands the government's attitude to asylum seekers as "racist" and "hostile", adding: "Its latest attack on refugees and migrants in the Nationality and Borders Bill has and will continue to lead to the horror and tragedy of loss of life in the Channel.

"We say don't let them drown, end the racist hostile environment, scrap the borders bill, and we say loud and clear, refugees are welcome here!

"Safe passage for all."

For more information, visit the event's page on Facebook.

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