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الأربعاء، 2 ديسمبر 2015

Before the winter of death sets in

Before the winter of death sets in

Dear friends,

They're fleeing terror... running from violence just as vicious as the attacks that have shaken Paris, Beirut, and Bamako. Yet they risk becoming tragic scapegoats unless we act now.

More than ever, thousands of women, men, and children are arriving at Europe's doorstep -- hungry, exhausted, sick… only hoping that someone soon will just open one door, and the nightmare they're fleeing from will be over.

But harsh weather is setting in, and the prospect of a chilling winter of death isn’t moving governments to act. On the contrary, they're building more and bigger fences to keep refugees out.

Now we, people, remain the key source of hope for those trapped by Europe's shameful walls.

And if enough of us each chip in a small amount now, we can fund a UN project to protect and transport thousands of people stranded along the border in the freezing cold to safe centres, and campaign to help shelter hundreds of vulnerable refugee families throughout the winter.

This is one of the best ways to tell the extremists that the world will remain undivided. There’s no time to lose. Join in to bring hope behind the fences:



From the Slovenian forests to the Greek Islands, to the streets of London and Berlin, teachers, fishermen, pensioners and the young, including many Avaaz members, have stepped in to throw a lifeline to tens of thousands of refugees -- the unsung heroes of this unfolding tragedy. And over the last 5 months, our community has funded private rescue operations at sea that have saved thousands of lives, set up a project that has seen thousands of Avaazers offer assistance, and even homes, to people fleeing war. We also built a 1.2 million strong campaign, which helped push world leaders to offer sanctuary to hundreds of thousands.

Now the recent attacks have made this a much harder battle. But this is what we can do if we raise enough:
  • Help the UN Refugee Agency provide the buses and vans needed to offer transport and protection to thousands of the most vulnerable refugees stranded along Europe's borders, and take them from arrival points and no man´s land to safe reception or transit centres.
  • Launch a targeted campaign to ensure Greece provides safe and legal access to refugees through the land border as the best way of stopping the drownings.
  • Ramp up the pressure on EU governments to ensure they immediately deliver on, and scale up, their promise to relocate and host refugees across Europe.
  • Run nimble campaign actions to counter fear-mongering and hatred against refugees.
It's easy to get discouraged by the sheer magnitude of this crisis and its root causes. Still, this cannot be our excuse not to act. Our amazing community is made for moments like these -- let's stand with the women and men who are bravely defying death and terror to give safety and freedom to their children and elderly. But let's also stand with the untold heroes who, day after day, work tirelessly to give refugees hope.

Click below to help make it happen:


Whether in response to the most destructive cyclone in the history of Myanmar or in the face of the terrifying Ebola crisis... When others have resorted to cynicism and despair because of daunting environmental or social threats... our community has shown, again and again, a unique blend of humanity, courage and determination. Let's do it again.

With hope and gratitude,

Luis, Emma, Mais, Marigona, Antonia, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team

Sources:

Winter Is Coming for Syria’s Refugees, and the EU Isn’t Ready (Foreign Policy)
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/28/winter-is-coming-and-the-eus-refugee-crisis-isnt-ready/ 

Europe’s refugee crisis - an agenda for action (Human Rights Watch)
https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/11/16/europes-refugee-crisis/agenda-action 

Poland to Shun Refugees After Paris Attack (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-14/poland-to-shun-refugees-after-paris-attack-future-minister-says

The Islamic State’s trap for Europe (Washington Post)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hating-muslim-refugees-is-exactly-what-the-islamic-state-wants-europe-to-do/2015/11/15/dfe0ca84-87d1-11e5-be39-0034bb576eee_story.html

I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/16/isis-bombs-hostage-syria-islamic-state-paris-attacks

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