I wonder what caught your eye in this title. What made you click onto and read this article? It wouldn’t be outrageous for me to suppose that many readers were surprised by how Exeter could have anything to do with camps hundreds of miles away in the Aegean. Nor would it surprise me if you were not aware of these camps and simply wanted to find out what this article is about. Well, I hope that by the end you will leave not just feeling informed, but motivated to help our cause.
Who are we?
We are a politically neutral, non-violent and volunteer-run organisation, who lobby governments for the disintegration of refugee camps in the Aegean in favour of more humane solutions.
Exeter Must Act. This is not just an imperative but also an organisation campaigning to dissolve refugee camps in the Aegean, before they become institutionalised into European culture. We are a mish mash of different people, many of us students at the university, but all with a common sense of social justice and a desire to see change. As Exeter Must Act, we form a local city chapter of the wider organisation Europe Must Act and there are many groups like ours across the continent, all lobbying governments to find more humane solutions to the increasingly crowded camps in Greece. Despite what you might think, this issue matters just as much in Exeter as it does in the camps themselves as finding a resolution requires dedication and compassion from all corners of the continent in order to ensure Europe-wide change.
And as an organisation we do not take this issue lightly. Action is not an option, it is something we must do and any support you can give us would be so appreciated to fulfil our three hopes for the future…
- To immediately decongest the Aegean Islands through fair relocation across Europe.
- To replace the EU-Turkey Agreement with a fair and humane EU policy on migration.
- To advocate for dignified and legal conditions of reception across Europe.
Why should I care?
Is the West not supposed to be liberal?
Are we as Westerners not supposed to be accepting of all creeds and colours as the pinnacle for global equality?
We are very ready to criticise other countries for their tenuous relationships with human rights but when it happens on our own shores our mentality becomes protectionist and isolationist. We like to criticise from afar but when it comes to our own back garden, we are not quite as scrupulous. It is time we live up to our own high standards and give the individuals living in these camps the dignity they deserve as opposed to simply ignoring the problem.
If you still need a reason to care then I ask you this: would you want one of your children growing up in such a camp when they had done nothing to deserve this fate? Do you deserve to be denied basic freedoms simply for wanting to improve the lives of yourself and your family? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then there is your reason. We would not like to be subjugated in such conditions, and no human deserves to be.
How can I help?
We realise that the Covid-19 pandemic has left a lot of us with little left to give. But this trying time has also taught us the importance of kindness, and how far even the smallest of gestures can travel. So whether this sounds like an organisation that you would like to dedicate time to, or just something you would like to learn more about, we have got space for you. Your involvement can be as simple as following our social media, sharing a post, or telling a friend about our organisation or you can volunteer with Exeter Must Act yourself, and become part of a friendly and dedicated team.
If you would like to learn more about our organisation, or get involved yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our team would be more than happy to help you!
Get in contact and check out our work…
Facebook: @europemustact / @exetermustact
Twitter: @EuropeMustAct / @ExeterMustAct
Instagram: @europemustact / @exetermustact