Refugees are and should be welcome in the UK and other EU countries. They deserve better than this frankly appalling treatment. They're not trying to 'scrounge' from us. They're not just a 'bunch of migrants', like David Cameron said last week. They're people. It's time that they're given the help that they so desperately need.
This week the Walthamstow community seems to have cracked itself apart. For once it wasn't about Mini Holland, the controversial scheme to make Walthamstow Village more bike-friendly. No, this latest schism concerns something on a far less local scale - the vote on the airstrikes on Syria. And the figure at the centre of it all is Stella Creasy.
Since the Conservative party "won" the UK general election on May 7th, people have taken to the streets across the UK in a defiant display of disenchantment with the electoral system and the austerity consensus of the major political parties. The prospect of 5 more years of crippling austerity has prompted many to reclaim the future of UK politics.
Earlier this year, Gaza endured a horrific military assault targeted at Palestinian civilians, many of whom are Durham University current and former students. As a result of continuous shelling, the death toll exceeded 2200, with thousands more Palestinians being heavily injured and struggling to restore their lives in the besieged and occupied homeland...
It is unlikely that these demonstrations seen today in Hong Kong will bring about significant change. Nevertheless, whether you are a democracy advocating global citizen, a government looking at how best to peacefully manage demonstrations, or just someone interested in international politics and what life in a future, more developed, China might look like, today's protests are a significant event worth watching closely.
I see protests in the same way that I see pain killers. In the sense that, they temporarily get rid of the symptoms or ease the pain, but they never eradicate the root of the problem. And unless the problem is properly seen to, it will just keep coming back. Which is why we need to heal society's issues by nurturing society's roots.