Candlelit vigils are held in London and Belfast to remember the 39 Chinese migrants who died in a lorry as protesters unfurl banners welcoming refugees
- People in both London and Belfast gathered last night in order to pay their respects to those who died
- In London anti-racism campaigners lined the streets of Westminster with banners saying ‘refugees welcome’
- This is while in London people gathered outside Belfast City Hall with candles in order to reflect
Crowds gathered in London and Belfast last night as vigils were held to remember the 39 Chinese migrants who lost their lives in a shipping container bound for the UK.
In Belfast a small crowd of people held lit candles at the front of City Hall as a mark of respect, this is while anti-racism protesters took to the streets in Westminster, holding banners which stated ‘no borders no deaths’.
The gatherings come as police have been granted a further 24 hours to question suspect Maurice ‘Mo’ Robinson, who currently remains in police custody in Essex.
Police have since moved 11 of the 39 bodies to a local hospital, as investigations continue into how they arrived into the Purfleet port.
Immigration lawyer Sinead Marmion was one of the organisers of the event on Thursday night in Belfast and said they had been ‘outraged’ at the events which have unfolded.
One woman was seen taking a moment during the London vigil to remember those who died in the lorry container
People take part in a vigil outside Belfast City Hall for the 39 people found dead inside a lorry in Essex on Wednesday
Campaigners lined the streets last night as they lit candles and held banners in remembrance of the 39 Chinese migrants
‘We talk to people on a daily basis who have made horrendous journeys.
‘We are silent a lot of the time too, for the protection of our own clients, but this really compelled us to come out and try to make other people aware of the scale of human trafficking and the nature of it all around us in our society.’
This is while Rebecca Ng, from the Chinese Welfare Association, said the community in Belfast had been shocked by the incident in Essex.
‘Such tragedies are really sad. These could be a father, a brother, a son of a member of the Chinese community here, they are maybe someone we know or a friend of us.
‘This has happened with the Chinese nation but it can happen with other people from different countries as well.
In Belfast, people gathered in front of City Hall with small candles and many bowed their heads as they thought of the dead
Candles were left outside the Home Office in London with signs which read ‘migrants and refugees welcome here’
Others who attended the vigil in London held signs which read ‘these walls must fall down’ in relation to ending borders
Others in London held candles with signs stuck to wooden sticks which read ‘racist borders will kill’. Those in attendance were pictured wearing black
‘They have their reasons. They take all this risk and risk their lives to come over here. So no matter what the reason, it must be a good reason, and they just look for a better life.’
In London anti-racism campaigners lined the streets of Westminster with various signs and banners which welcomes migrants and refugees.
The signs also had lines on them which read ‘blame austerity not migrants’ and many had lined candles across walls.
On Thursday evening, the first 11 victims were moved by a private ambulance with a police escort from the Port of Tilbury to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.
The remaining bodies will be transported in stages, with police expecting all the victims to be moved to hospital by the end of the week.
Post-mortem examinations will be carried out, but police warned the investigation will take “some considerable time”.
Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said he had the “utmost confidence” in his officers as the force leads its largest-ever murder investigation.
Irish police are conducting follow-up inquiries in relation to the registrations and movements of the refrigerated container and the Irish-owned truck.
Three addresses have been searched in Northern Ireland as part of the probe.
The protests in Belfast seemed peaceful last night as many were pictured holding candles. The vigils come as police continue to investigate