A candlelit vigil was held at the crack of dawn this morning outside the gates of Hassockfield/Derwentside. These words from N2H member Emma explain why:
We are here to remember all those who tragically, and needlessly lost their lives trying to reach safety on the 24th of November last year.
We remember others who have lost their lives crossing a border. Remember the 39 people who tragically perished in the back of a lorry attempting to reach the UK in 2019.
We also hold in our hearts those who have made the same dangerous journey, only to find themselves locked up indefinitely in detention centres like Derwentside.
27 candles have been lit, in memory of the 27 confirmed deaths in the channel on the 24th of November last year. The total number of deaths is expected to be as high as 32 with some still missing. They included young men, women, children and an unborn baby.
The majority of the families of those who passed away have still not been contacted, 12 months later. Their grief today should also be acknowledged.
This tragedy was the worst single loss of life in British waters in 30 years. We call for an end to these tragic and avoidable deaths through the closure of all detention centres, freedom, safety, and support for all those detained; and the opening of safe routes into the country.
Nobody is illegal, and nobody should have to face death at sea or in detention simply for seeking a safe place to live.