Real Refugees

We have come to Spitalfields. Descendants of Huguenot refugees who found respite in London fleeing death and discrimination in France. Thousands were murdered because they were protestants.

The area, as much as is preserved, draws us in and we could imagine ourselves living here as if we too were creative types, Gilbert and George, Jeanette Winterson and others who now have the wherewithal, or even refugees as our ancestors living several families to a room on Brick Lane.

Our family survived, made a life for themselves and subsequent generations. No one says it was easy but the onus was not on them to prove they were bone fide. They were not harried but able to follow their trade, enrich the pool of skills, languages, nations already struggling to survive.

It’s not only plastic in the oceans that will be the shame of our generation if we do nothing, but the wilful blindness to the plight of refugees.

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