Convoy to Calais - The Big Send Off!
Time for Convoy to Calais !!
The Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol campaign was set up about 8 weeks ago in response to the horrendous reports in the media of children being washed up on beaches, boats sinking and people dying on their journey to safety - right on our doorstep ! The accompanying media hype from politicians was racist, scaremongering about swarms of immigrants coming to our country. We wanted a different narrative and the group in its formation called on people to help, alongside other groups formed across the country with the same ideals.
We could not have forseen the help we would get from the people of Bristol ! It has been truly amazing and heartwarming that so many people care about other human beings who are fleeing violence and war.
The remit of the group was two-fold: As a grass-roots organisation we aimed to A: to collect unwanted goods, clothes, shoes, sleeping bags and tents for the people in the Calais camps , closest to our door, and deliver them to Calais. And B: to fundraise for goods too cheap or impossible to transport., such as firewood, food, shelters etc.
The campaign has been very successful, so far. We were innundated!
A Fundsurfer campaign was set up to raise money and in that short time has raised over £9600! We have had a varity of events and gigs and raised a further £3000 ! We have donated money to Doctors of the World; bought 3 UNCHR fully equipped tents; bought waterproof jackets; medication and firewood.
We did recieve a lot of stuff that was not needed in the Calais camps, particularly women's and children's clothing and some of that has been distributed to various Bristol Charities, including Homeless and Refugee groups. Some of the rest was sold at a pop-up shop on Stokes Croft and raised £1000 and there are plans for shop No.2 :)
So the goods that are suitable are all sorted, boxed and stored in TWO whole warehouses ! And we are now proud to announce that after a few weeks of logistics we are READY TO GO TO CALAIS !!
On Wednesday November 11th the lorries will load up at the warehouses and leave for Calais. That day and the next , a car and three minibuses full of volunteers will go to Calais to help in any way needed - in the warehouse, in the camp, litter picking and everything that helps for a few days !
We cant let this go un-noticed ! The people of Bristol have been so generous, so many people have volunteered in Bristol, the response has been overwhelming. So we are going to send the convoy off ! The press will be there so let's get Bristol out to send it off and make some noise !!
We would like you to join us on College Green on the 11th at 2.30 pm.
The vans and minibuses will be decorated with messages of support for the people in the Calais camps and then the vehicles ( except the lorries !) will cavalcade round an area of Bristol from 3pm till 4pm whereby we can distribute publicity about the campaign.
The motorcade will then return to College.Green for a rally,spee ches, music, circus troupe and more - all to be added to ! This will end at 5pm and then afterwards there will be a memorial service for the thousands that have died " on the journey "
Come along, add your voice that says "Refugees are Welcome here" - "No-one is illegal" and Bristol Cares !!