Neil, Linda,John, Brian, Tigsiti Tekleab, Mekdes Zewde, Saron Alehayeku.
Neil, Linda,John, Brian, Tigsiti Tekleab, Mekdes Zewde, Saron Alehayeku.

Barnsley Trades Council has launched a Christmas financial appeal in support of refugees. Trade unionists, like millions of other British people, have been shocked and angered by the horrific scenes on our TV screens from Calais, Central Europe and the Greek islands. The sight of dead children being lifted from the sea will not easily be forgotten. We have been angered too at how the Fortress Europe racist mentality shown by most European politicians, including David Cameron and his Tory Government, has only made the situation worse and led directly to refugee deaths.

We have taken inspiration from the positive way that the public has responded to this human man-made catastrophe. It is estimated that 31% of the population have done something to support refugees; 100,000 marched in London in September (with 100 in Barnsley on the same day) and communities all over the country have taken food and clothes to Calais or further afield like Lesbos.

Stand Up To Racism has organised several national convoys to Calais. Half of what we raise in our Appeal will go their national Christmas Appeal. UNITE Community, from their centre in the Barnsley NUM Offices, have organised vital ESOL classes for refugees and are planning a 5 a side tournament at Oakwell in January 2016. The other half we raise will go to support their important work.

Please support our Financial Appeal for Refugee Support. Send cheques to our treasurer, Dave Gibson (address above) made payable to Barnsley Trades Council. We would like to receive them by Wed. 16th December at the latest so we can distribute the money raised before Christmas. We will publish accounts and send a report to the Barnsley Chronicle. (If you have money to send after the 16th please still send it as funds will be needed after Christmas too).

Download the flyer BTUC Xmas appeal amended 2