The refugee crisis is escalating in what has been described as the biggest humanitarian crisis since the second world war (Young refugees sexually exploited by traffickers, 13 June). Governments across Europe are failing to accept responsibility as thousands are drowning in the Mediterranean, fleeing desperate situations at great risk to seek sanctuary. Instead of addressing the issues, fences and detention centres are being built and as a result of the EU-Turkey deal people are being deported to war zones where their homes and lives have been destroyed.

The Tory government is ramping up racist rhetoric as it shifts the blame on to immigrants and refugees for the problems caused by its own austerity measures. In a show of callousness it voted against an amendment to the immigration bill which would have allowed 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children entry to the UK. Despite this it was forced into a U-turn. However, this hard-won amendment offering possible sanctuary to child refugees is not enough. We need to know how many will be offered refuge and when to see if real good will be done.

Some of the UK’s largest campaigning organisations have joined together with trade unions, faith organisations and community groups in organising a convoy to Calais (convoytocalais.org) on Saturday 18 June. Hundreds of cars, vans, lorries, minibuses and coaches will assemble on Whitehall in a huge moving protest and drive to the refugee camp in Calais in one of the largest displays of solidarity with refugees this country has seen. Aid is being collected from across the country and will be delivered to the distribution centres in Calais.

We call on the UK government to give safe passage to refugees and provide sanctuary for those fleeing war zones and desperate situations. We condemn Fortress Europe, the EU-Turkey deal and the racism that is poisoning the EU referendum debate. We are not afraid to recognise that immigrants play an integral role in our communities.
Sam Fairbairn People’s Assembly
Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition
Weyman Bennett & Sabby Dhalu Stand Up To Racism
John McDonnell MP
Diane Abbott MP
Caroline Lucas MP
Kate Osamor MP
Mark Rylance Actor
Brian Eno Musician 
Jo Brand Comedian
Michael Sheen Actor
Maxine Peake Actress
Rufus Hound Comedian & actor
Ken Loach Director
Len McCluskey Unite the Union
Dave Prentis Unison
Mark Serwotka Public and Commercial Services Union
Dave Ward Communication Workers Union
Kevin Courtney National Union of Teachers
Jeremy Hardy Comedian
Francesca Martinez Comedian
Clare Moseley Care4Calais
Julie Hesmondhalgh Actress
Heydon Prowse The Revolution Will be Televised
Sam Duckworth Musician
Sarah Wade CEO, Humanitas
Owen Jones Journalist
John Hilary War on Want
Ahdaf Soueif Novelist 
Ava Vidal Comedian
Alan Gibbons Author
Mohammed Kozbar Muslim Association of Britain
John Rees People’s Assembly 
Steve Turner People’s Assembly 
Romayne Phoenix People’s Assembly 
Natalie Bennett Green party
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