Thousands of demonstrators marched through London today, urging the UK Government to take more action on the refugee crisis in Europe.

Walking from Park Lane in Central London the groups of protestors headed towards Parliament Square and chanted slogans such as “Refugees are Welcome Here” and “Humanity first”.

As the rally of people reached Parliament Square speeches were delivered by a range of prominent names including actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave as well as representatives of charity organizations.

A young boy who had recently arrived in the UK from Syria also appeared on stage with an interpreter translating his personal words of gratitude to UK citizens.

The march was a vibrant display of solidarity by people of all ages and walks of life who felt strongly about the responsibility of UK government.

“The UK has a duty to put humanity before anything else and we are seeing the devastation caused to innocent lives as a result of wars we have been involved in,” said one of the ladies who participated in the march.

An elderly couple from London who also attended the march told Sputnik: “We are refugees, and we know firsthand what it feels like needing to leave a country for the safety of one’s family. We didn’t want to leave our homes but we were forced to! It breaks my heart seeing and hearing about what is happening around the world and I am here to say we are all with them!”

According to organizers of the ‘Solidarity with Refugees’ march, last year’s event attracted well over 100,000 demonstrators, which was further enhanced  after images surfaced of refugee toddler Alan Kurdi’s body, which had washed up on a beach in Turkey.

This year the group said on their Facebook page that 50 organizations and 200 religious leaders are involved in this year’s rally.

On Twitter, the hashtag #WeStandWithYou was trending with mixed sentiments representing both the pros and cons of the refugee debate.

 

A former volunteer who had worked in the refugee camps in Calais also joined the march in London and she told Sputnik:

“Seeing firsthand how human lives are being affected in some of these refugee camps has made me want to do more. We are living through one of the biggest humanitarian disasters Europe has ever seen and we, as well as the wider world, need to do more,” she said.

Well over 9,000 people tuned into Sputnik’s live feed on Facebook from the march in London.

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