Thousands of protesters across Europe took to the streets on Saturday in support of refugees heading for the continent after fleeing their war-torn countries.
Local police said at least 30,000 people participated in the protest in Copenhagen, Denmark, organized by the “Refugees Welcome” group and Venligboerne (“Fellow Townspeople”) on social media.
Michala Clante Bendixen from the “Refugees Welcome” group said that unlike the government, citizens have done a lot to help the refugees.
The Royal police said that about 34,000 people gathered on the streets of Denmark in several protests organized on social media.
Separately, another protest in support of refugees was staged in Budapest, Hungary. Hundreds of people gathered outside a station in eastern parts of the city, where the activists asked the government not to turn down anybody to return to Serbia, from where refugees enter Hungary.
Protester were holding banners saying “Jesus was also refugee” and “Refugees welcome”, among others.
Hungary has decided on June 17 to build a three meter high, 175 kilometer long barbed fence in the border with Serbia to prevent the flow of refugees.
Meanwhile, another 5,000 people walked in Vienna, Austria in support of refugees.
The protesters who gathered in the Christian-Broda-Platz Square asked the government to open the doors to other refugees and to improve the living conditions in the existing refugee camps.
They carried banners that read, “No human is illegal”, “Muslims and refugees welcome”, and “Remove the borders”.
Earlier, thousands of people filled the Parliament Square in central London Saturday afternoon to urge British government and European leaders to do more to address refugee suffering. “Say it loud, say it clear! Refugees are welcome here!” was the most common slogan at the rally that saw tens of thousands of people.
Thousands upon thousands of refugees have taken the perilous journey to Europe, which is facing what is described as the worst refugee crisis in the continent since the World War II.
The European Union recently decided to accept up to 140,000 refugees, while the Obama administration said Thursday that it would allow as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. during the 2016 fiscal year.
The U.N.’s refugee agency said recently that at least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean this year and in 2016; also, more than half of refugees who reached Europe this year were Syrians.
The U.N. estimates more than 250,000 people have died since the civil war began in Syria and 10 million have been displaced — 6 million internally.
According to the U.N., there are 1.9 million Syrian refugees registered in Turkey alone as of Aug. 25.
Protesters attending a pro-refugee march in London, England on September 12, 2015. Pro-refugee demonstrators demand the UK government to help more refugees fleeing Syria. Images by Anadolu Agency.
Around 5,000 people gather to demonstrate in Vienna on September 12, 2015 for more solidarity with refugees. Images by Anadolu Agency.