This morning, members of Art Refuge joined between 300 and 400 men, women and children at the Napier Barracks in Folkestone to welcome the 400 refugees currently housed there. This heartwarming Welcome event was organised by Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) and supported by both local community groups and national refugee support groups. In spite of masks and social distancing, there was a strong mood of solidarity and welcome.
A group of men living in the barracks held up their own posters while a call and response of ‘hello’ and ‘welcome’ took place across the wired fence, people on either side briefly connected in a shared humanity. Bridget Chapman from KRAN: “There’s a narrative that has been put forward by a group of people saying that these fellow human beings aren’t wanted in Folkestone and we know that isn’t the case.” In the event, the tiny group of counter-protestors was far outnumbered by the large crowd of well wishers. #welcomerefugees #hope #humanity