ANTI-racism campaigners in Edinburgh have held a protest against the "inhumane" UK Government policy to send refugees to Rwanda.

Activists gathered in places across the UK including Glasgow and London as the Tory government's plan was challenged once again in the High Court. 

Scores of protestors holding placards which read "refugees are welcome here" were joined by Stand Up to Racism and trade unionists who addressed the crowd on Monday in the capital. 

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It comes after home secretary Priti Patel resigned after Liz Truss was elected as the next UK prime minister. 

Meanwhile, at The Mound on Princes Street, campaigners sang songs and led chants against the UK Government's "hostile environment" policies when it comes to asylum seekers.

A number of speakers from political parties, trade unions and groups working with refugees addressed the crowd.

Esa Aldegheri, from City of Sanctuary Edinburgh, a group that aim to make refugees and migrants fleeing violence feel welcomed when they arrive in the capital, told the crowd to "stand without fear".

She said: "Although there are really scary times I see so many people here today in this city, despite all the people walking past and doing their shopping on Princes Street, who really care and we've come together from so many different backgrounds and faiths and beliefs.

"But we cannot stand and allow such basic rights to be eroded.

"That is exactly why we cannot stand by because if it's okay for, you know, a person to be deported to Rwanda because they're an illegal refugee, of which no such thing exists, then why is it not okay for someone's Polish shop to be graffitied?

"My dad's Italian, I have two passports. I could be stripped of my British passport according to some of the elements of the Nationality and Borders Act.

"It could be you next, it could be your neighbour, your friend, your teacher, your children. We have to stop this.

"This is one tiny protest that is much of a wider protest, we're here to stop Rwanda."

Olaf Stando, the international officer of the SNP's youth wing, said during his speech: "I campaigned passionately for an independent Scotland, not because I care about flags or about anthems or about unchaining unicorns.

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"I care about a different country that's in front of us, a hope of a society that treats humans like humans, of a border and immigration system that's compassionate, have a common sense system that recognises that refugees and migrants can contribute so much to our economy, instead of a racist, toxic, poisonous pool of sh**e that the Tories are forcing us to swim in."

Addressing the crowd, Scott Harkness, from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said: "The reason I am speaking here today is to send a message of solidarity and love to refugees everywhere.

"Right now there is a crisis and that crisis is around those that are due to be sent to Rwanda. I read an article recently about a refugee who was told he was coming to the UK and he was so relieved and happy.

The National: A number of speakers addressed the crowd in EdinburghA number of speakers addressed the crowd in Edinburgh

"Then he was told he was going to Rwanda with little to no explanation, he started panicking."

Harkness was greeted with cheers later in his speech when he pointed out the CWU had a bigger mandate to take strike action than Liz Truss was given to be the UK's next prime minister.

One speaker from Stand up to Racism said: "It's absolutely shocking and disgusting.

"The people they want to deport from here have come from places like Sudan, a vicious military dictatorship, from Syria and Eritrea, where terrible wars are going on. 

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"They came here looking for a better life and when they get here, they're not allowed to work and they're demonised by the press.

"That's not enough for Priti Patel and the Tories, they want to deport them from here and sent to Rwanda."

Several asylum seekers, along with the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) and groups Care4Calais and Detention Action, are bringing challenges over the plan to send some asylum seekers on one-way flights to the east African country.

The High Court heard how Rwanda is an “authoritarian state” that “tortures and murders those it considers to be its opponents” at the outset of the legal challenge. 

Raza Husain QC, representing some of those bringing the case forward, said the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees has raised a number of concerns about Rwanda’s record with refugees, including a high rate of rejection for asylum seekers who are not from neighbouring countries and issues with its process for determining refugee status – including a failure to provide reasons for refusal.

The former home secretary is defending the claims, with lawyers arguing the policy is “not unlawful” and that the memorandum of understanding agreed between the UK and Rwanda provides assurances that ensure everyone sent there will have a “safe and effective” refugee status determination procedure.

Currently, no flights have taken any immigrants to Rwanda as they have been stopped by legal interventions.