EU: European drivers take to the wheel to demand action for refugees

EU governments have abandoned refugees in Greece. These drivers are frustrated with the foot-dragging and empty promises of their leaders.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

MEDIA ADVISORY

EU: European drivers take to the wheel to demand action for refugees

27 February 2017

– Mass car action as over 250 drivers from around Europe descend on Brussels’ Schuman roundabout at 11.00 on 6 March

– Citizens from grassroots movement ‘Let’s Bring Them Here’ call for governments to fulfil promise to relocate refugees

– Spokespeople available

Protestors from around Europe are expected to cause motoring mayhem when at least 278 cars converge on Schuman roundabout in Brussels to demand that European Union (EU) leaders fulfil their promises to relocate refugees from Greece to other European countries.

The ‘Let’s Bring Them Here’ campaign aims to embarrass European leaders into action ahead of the European Council meeting on 9-10 March, in Brussels.

“EU governments have abandoned refugees in Greece. These drivers are frustrated with the foot-dragging and empty promises of their leaders. They are taking to the wheel to show that EU citizens want governments to act now by symbolically offering to help relocate refugees by picking them up and driving them themselves,” said Fotis Filippou, Deputy Europe Director at Amnesty International.

In 2015 EU governments promised to relocate 66,400 refugees from Greece to other European countries. As of 20 February 2017 only 9,157 had been moved.

“Despite their previous commitment, the majority of European governments are relocating refugees at a snail’s pace, showing their fundamental lack of political will to end the suffering of thousands of people languishing on the doorstep of Europe, the very place where they came to find protection,” said Fotis Filippou.

“Ordinary people are again showing the solidarity that EU leaders are lacking. They are driving to Brussels to show EU leaders how serious they are about welcoming refugees.”

Drivers will also present copies of their license plates to European leaders at 12.00 outside the European Council to symbolically commit their services as ‘European chauffeurs’ for the relocation deal. Anybody who cannot attend the Car Parade but wants to help with the relocation of refugees is being asked to participate in the Let’s Bring Them Here campaign.

Background

Amnesty International, together with other organisations, is supporting the grassroots initiative ‘Let’s Bring Them Here’, which was set up by a group of activists in the Netherlands.

Initiative website: www.bringthemhere.eu

Full programme: http://www.bringthemhere.eu/faq

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/132013317307938/

State of play on EU relocation – 20/2/2016

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Alison Abrahams in Brussels on [email protected] +32 2 548 27 73 or +32 483 680 812