Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday in the capitals of Denmark and the United Kingdom demanding their countries and other European countries grant thousands of refugees entry into the continent.
In London, the Solidarity with Refugees saw speeches from several politicians and well-know figures including Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of the U.K.'s Labour Party.
“Recognize your obligations to help people which you’re required to do by law, that would be good,” Corbyn said to the tens of thousands who gathered at Parliament Square in London.
“But above all,” he added, “open your hearts and open your minds and open your attitude towards supporting people who are desperate, who need somewhere safe to live, want to contribute to our society, and are human beings just like all of us. Together in peace, together in justice, together in humanity, that surely must be our way forward.”
Red Flag booms over Parliament Square after Corbyn speech. Thousands cheer. It has begun! https://t.co/yQggqMh0q3— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) September 12, 201
Protesters marched through central London to Prime Minister David Cameron's office, holding placards reading: "Open the Borders" and "Refugees In, Tories Out."
The British government has come under severe criticism in recent weeks as it had maintained its position of not accepting Syrian refugees citing security concerns.
However, last week Cameron had a belated change of heart after thousands signed a parliamentary petition urging the government to accept more refugees, following pictures of Aylan Kurdi's body, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose dead body washed off the coast of Turkey after drowning in the Mediterranean.
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Cameron said Britain would accept up to 20,000 refugees over five years, a modest plan in comparison to other European and developing countries who have already taken in hundreds of thousands.
More than 14,000 people claimed asylum in Denmark last year and it expects 20,000 this year. Neighboring Sweden took in over 80,000 refugees last year and expects the same number this year. Germany said it has already taken in more than 40,000 people.
Meanwhile, Danish police estimated that 30,000 people had gathered outside the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen on Saturday, shouting "Refugees are welcome."
The protests in Copenhagen came after the Danish government said Friday that it had already accepted its fair share of asylum seekers and would not take part in the European Union's proposal to take a share of another 160,000 refugees.
Rallies took place in Paris, Lisbon, Geneva, and other cities across Europe calling for admission of more refugees.
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