Northern Ireland news

Anti-racist activists to rally in Belfast today demanding open borders after death of 27 people in Channel

The protest, which takes place at 2pm in Writer's Square, is organised by pressure group United Against Racism. Picture by Hugh Russell

ANTI-RACIST activists are to rally in Belfast today to demand open borders after the death of 27 people in the English Channel trying to reach the UK.

The protest, which takes place at 2pm in Writer's Square, is organised by pressure group United Against Racism.

Speakers will include representatives of black, minority ethnic and anti-racist organisations and associations.

Belfast convenor Ivanka Antova, claimed the UK's immigration policy is "turning the Channel into a mass grave".

She urged people to join the "peaceful gathering in solidarity with refugees and demand that the borders are opened".

At least three children and a pregnant woman are feared to be among those drowned on Wednesday when an overcrowded dinghy sank.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who described their deaths as a tragedy, has insisted "the real problem on illegal migration flows is the EU has no border protections whatsoever - Schengen open borders".

Ms Antova said the deaths of were "a predictable outcome of an inhumane policy that is perfectly avoidable" and said France and the EU shared the blame with the UK for "forc(ing) poor people into unsafe boats in search of a better life".

"A safe passage for those seeking asylum would put these smugglers out of business in a day".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news