Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Katharine Viner - The plight of refugees is the crisis of our times

This year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal is for refugees. The unprecedented flight of men, women and children from the war in Syria has captured the world’s attention, while around the globe there are 20 million people seeking sanctuary from war and oppression, in search of a life worth living. Most have fled to countries which are themselves poor and unstable. More than one million of the most vulnerable urgently need resettling. This is the crisis of our times, and how we respond to it is a test of our values, our spirit, our ingenuity, our generosity.

Naomi Klein with Katharine Viner, Talk, 29 April 2015
"Its not about carbon. Its about capitalism"

Finding the best political answers is complex. But it is vital we do not close our hearts, or lose sight of the essential human response, or ignore the needs of some of the world’s most desperate people. The Guardian has reported the refugee crisis consistently over many months, from Syria and the camps in neighbouring countries – Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey. We have tracked the ruthless people traffickers, voyaged with the rescue boats, watched helplessly the consequences of putting to sea in rough conditions: the capsizes and sinkings and the drownings, whose victims included three-year-old Alan Kurdi, whose small body was washed on to a Turkish beach after his parents’ dinghy capsized in a failed attempt to reach Greece.

And we have witnessed the fraught and painful journey of refugees on the road from Hungary to Germany, told in John Domokos’s astonishing short Guardian film We Walk Together. We have chosen refugees as our theme this year not just to raise money for a vital humanitarian cause but as an act of solidarity. Our appeal slogan is We Stand Together: a stand against intolerance, and fear; a stand for empathy and generosity. And a stand for clarity and perspective: as US President Barack Obama said in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, we must not start to equate the issue of refugees with terrorism... read more: