Around 15,000 people gathered in Gothenburg Wednesday for a Refugee’s Welcome rally.
The large turnout of citizens, the second in Sweden in less than a week, was inspired by similar recent events offering support to refugees in Germany and Austria. An effort to show the numbers of people who support a Sweden and Europe that is welcoming to fleeing refugees.
An excerpt from the facebook event page description reads: “Together we stand up for a humane Europe. A Europe that does not turn it’s back on the most serious refugee crisis since World War II. A Europe that welcomes those who need protection and assistance.”
The support rally for refugees was originally meant to take place at Gustav Adolfs Torg, but organisers were forced to move it to the larger square at Götaplatsen, when nearly 20,000 people and 30 different organizations had planned attendance.
Mona Sahlin, former leader of Sweden’s Social Democrats, addressing the Refugees Welcome rally in Gothenburg, called for an end to the EU’s restrictive asylum policy and called out those using the refugee crisis to heighten xenophobe tensions.
— Julia C. Reinhart (@juliacreinhart) September 9, 2015
Around 15,000 Stockholmers braved heavy rain on Sunday the 6th to also take part in a rally in support of refugees. Also inspired by similar demonstrations in Germany and Austria last month.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven gave a rousing speech in which he urged Swedes and Europeans to do their part to help out.“We need to decide right now what kind of Europe we are going to be. My Europe takes in refugees. My Europe doesn’t build walls,” he said.
— Gashii (@hejgashii) September 9, 2015