Protest held outside City Hall in response to Afghanistan crisis
- Credit: Ben Hardy
Protesters in Norwich have called on the government to do more to welcome refugees amid the Afghanistan crisis.
Banners stating 'refugees welcome, let them in' and 'no person is illegal' were on display as dozens of people stood outside City Hall on Saturday afternoon.
The protest was recognising the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan in which thousands of British citizens, including people from Norfolk, have been stranded in Kabul after the Taliban reclaimed control of the city.
Norwich Against Fascists campaigner Jess Barnard, 26, said: "We are calling on the government and local representatives to do more to support them and make sure Norfolk plays its part.
"We have been made aware of a couple of people from Norwich who are out there and we hope councillors and MPs are working with the government to get them out."
South Norwich MP Clive Lewis described the situation as "dire" with the numbers of people seeking help increasing by the day.
Among Mr Lewis' constituents stranded in Kabul is Ashna Shinwari, 29, of Gas Hill, who had travelled to Afghanistan for a funeral before the Taliban took over.
His four-year-old son and girlfriend have been left afraid after Mr Shinwari's Turkish Airlines flight home on August 10 was cancelled.
Also protesting at City Hall was Lizzy McKenzie, 26, who said the action was a good way to demonstrate unity.
- 1 Resurfacing works to see closures on three busy city roads
- 2 People in Norwich fined £21k for failing to pay for prescriptions
- 3 Power still out in parts of Norwich city centre six hours later
- 4 'Disaster from start to finish': Parents slam school for failing kids
- 5 £6.1m shopping street revamp will take half of 2022 to complete
- 6 Roadworks to be aware of in Norwich this week
- 7 Man, 83, 'absolutely gutted' after thieves pinch his £2,500 e-bike
- 8 See how Norwich Castle's keep is being transformed
- 9 New £64,000 bus lane could cut 80 seconds off journeys
- 10 Family piano shop founded in 1887 is leaving the city
She added: "Having a physical presence here is great for people to see and it is very important with the humanitarian crisis on our hands in Afghanistan.
"We have a responsibility to be vocal as our country has a huge role to play in this crisis and to go above and beyond to fix it."
A statement from Mr Lewis, who could not attend the protest, said the city had an obligation to provide sanctuary to refugees, many of whom are faced with "perilous and dangerous journeys".
A spokesman for the foreign office said: "Our staff are working tirelessly to facilitate the swift evacuation of British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk.
"The scale of the evacuation effort is huge and we have helped more than 2,400 people leave Afghanistan since Sunday .”