Hundreds gathered in the center of Lund on Monday to stand up for refugees. They were calling for a more humane refugee policy.
“People on the move are dying in the Mediterranean, and there are many who want to show that this is something that we do not accept,” says Julius Eberhard, one of the organizers of the event who represents the youth wing of the Green Party in Lund.
He says the most important aspect of the “Refugees Welcome Lund” rally was to recognize the ongoing refugee crisis and together stand up for humanity.
The gathering was a collaboration between various political youth organization and was politically independent. Similar events have taken place around Sweden in the past week. The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law was one of many organizations supporting the event.
Eberhard says the organizers want to increase public opinion in support of a more humane refugee policy. “We are also hoping to collect the money and supplies required to help refugees in need,” he says. “Charitable organizations were present to introduce themselves and their work. And people also were able to contribute with money or other necessities that may be needed.”
Eberhard hopes that Monday’s rally shed more light on the problems refugees face, such as racism and brutal border surveillance while fleeing for their lives.
“Our hope is that this initiative can give attention to and create awareness around the refugees’ situation,” he says. “Events like these can get the media to pay attention to the problems, but they are also a way to try to get politicians to act.”
A number of speeches were held during the event, including a speech on the human rights protections of refugees by RWI’s programme officer, Helena Olsson.