Opinion: Migration is back making headlines Monday. The refugee crisis is all too often grouped together with people migrating for a range of negative issues back home. But how those unfortunate displaced people are treat, be they economic migrants or desperate refugees, is a country by country lottery.
Monday TV rolling news in the UK has included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official visit to Canada and the royal couple meeting with refugees.
Canada has increased its refugee numbers since the death of Aylan Kurdi, the two-year-old boy whose dead body was washed up on a beach this year. Canada treats their new citizens with respect.
Commentators noted that the royals meeting with refugees in the UK is not currently practicable due to hostilty toward incoming refugees and migrants.
Over on Russia Today Monday rolling news featured France and the so-called Jungle in Calais. The report was fairly biased against those seeking asylum over in France and showed footage of lorries being pelted with anything to hand, a journalist being attacked by knife wielding men, a huge protest at one town where there are plans to build a massive new camp to house refugees and migrants presumably until the system processes them?
We live in strange times but perhaps we always have?
Sunday evening hubby and I went to a local fund-raising event. The Hull International Brigade Memorial Fund aims to raise enough cash to erect a fitting memorial, in a prominent place in Hull, to commemorate eight men who left Yorkshire to join other foreign fighters in Spain back in the thirties.
Currently there is just a fairly invisible mention to them in the city's Guildhall; a plaque that was put in place in 1990.
The event Sunday was held in St Mary's church Lowgate.
A fine old church it was both an incongruous and a fitting venue.
Most of the "congregation" Sunday evening probably rarely if ever attend Church on a Sunday.
So what has that to do with the current refugee crisis?
Performing music and telling a little of the story of the Hull eight who joined others to fight against fascism in the 1930's Spanish Civil War was local performer Joe Solo and a double act called Na Mara.
Listening in the "congregation", on the hard pews in what was a chilly church Sunday evening, were people with family links to the eight local heroes.
The event was entertaining, informative and poignant.
Na Mara's website says "Described as "elegant and skilled musicians" by Folk London, folk duo na-mara (Rob Garcia and Paul McNamara) perform at clubs and festivals across the UK and have, in recent times, performed in France and Spain and featured in broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and a host of local radio stations. They perform self-penned songs in traditional style on a range of contemporary and historical topics as well as traditional songs and tunes from across the British Isles, their own translations songs from the Breton, French and Quebecois traditions and a wide variety of tunes from Asturias, Galicia, Brittany and northern France."
They are excellent performers and Rob Garcia had a personal tale to tell us Sunday.
His father was one a few thousand child refugees that came to live in the UK during the Spanish civil war.
Even back then refugees were viewed with some suspicion especially from a Communist against Fascist civil war.
Rob told us that the Daily Mail posted a headline about the children at the time saying something like send the "red rats" back.
But then the anti-Corbyn and anti-refugee Daily Mail was a supporter of the blackshirts back in the 19130's.
The Daily Mail was and is consistent "The paper nonetheless continued to oppose the arrival of Jewish refugees escaping Germany, describing their arrival as "a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed"."
The jury is out for many when it comes to offering a helping hand to 21st Century refugees and some are viewed with fear and even hate and yes that includes the children.
But the left-wing of politics has always been internationally inclusive and caring.
We tend to live by the view that there but for the grace of god go you and I even though these days many of us have no religious faith.
If you get a chance to see Na Mara and or Joe Solo live go for it.
Joe performed at the Hull Jeremy Corbyn rally in the summer and inspired the audience to join in with No Pasaran, they shall not pass, both with the singing and the salute probably much to the horror of those watching from the close by BBC Look North offices.
"Joe Solo is a musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer from Scarborough. His musical odyssey began in 1987 fronting a bash-em-out band at school, and has seen him play seven countries either as lynchpin of pop-punk upstarts Lithium Joe or hammering out his unique brand of Folk, Punk and Blues in his own right."
A modern version of a sixties protest singer.
Sunday's event was a timely reminder of the fight against extreme right politics; a fight we are all facing once again.
But in the end it was about those eight men who deserve to be remembered and those displaced by the civil war who bear such similarities to 21st Century refugees.
[No Pasaran was used during the Spanish Civil War, this time at the Siege of Madrid by Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, a member of the Communist Party of Spain, in her famous "No pasarán" speech on 18 July 1936. The leader of the nationalist forces, Generalísimo Francisco Franco, upon gaining Madrid, responded to this slogan with "Hemos pasado" ("We have passed").]
Check out Joe Solo https://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com/album/never-be-defeated
Na Mara songs of the Spanish Civil War http://www.na-mara.com/taxonomy/term/4
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