Camden leader addresses thousands at Ukraine vigil

People holding Ukrainian flags at a protest in Trafalgar Square

Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, addressed thousands in Trafalgar Square during a solidarity vigil and march - Credit: Archant

The leader of Camden Council gave a heartfelt speech to thousands of people at a Ukraine solidarity march and vigil in central London over the weekend.

On Saturday (March 26) Londoners united to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The march started from Park Lane at 2pm and went through Piccadilly Circus, where artist Yoko Ono’s "imagine peace" message was displayed on the Piccadilly Circus screens, and finished in Trafalgar Square where speeches were heard.

People pass the Yoko Ono Imagine Peace sign at Piccadilly, during a solidarity march in London

People pass the Yoko Ono Imagine Peace sign at Piccadilly. - Credit: Aaron Chown via PA Images

Donald, a local who attended the event, said there were a lot of signs in the crowd urging more humanitarian aid and military support, such as airplanes, to be given to Ukraine – as well as taking swipes at Vladimir Putin.

Chants of "stand with Ukraine" went through the crowd and he said Londoners from all walks of life were in attendance, calling the vigil "uplifting". 

Sign with picture of Putin saying "denazify yourself"

"Denazify yourself" - Credit: Archant

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Camden Council leader Georgia Gould addressed the crowd, along with Ukrainian and European politicians and people caught up in the conflict.

Cllr Gould said at the vigil: "Today, at St Pancras station, Camden Council staff are welcoming refugees who have been through hell.

Blonde haired woman speaking on stage at the London Stands with Ukraine vigil on Saturday.

Georgia Gould (Labour) speaking at the London Stands with Ukraine vigil on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

"Despite the horror and devastation we see moments of calm and humanity and we see extraordinary courage of the Ukrainian people standing up to such brutality. And we will match that in London.

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"We must demand more action from national leaders. No one should be criminalised for seeking refuge. Our message as local councils is that we feel powerless watching what you're going through. We will always stand with you for freedom."  

Mr Khan, whose office organised the event, announced in his speech more than £1.1m in funding to support migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum in London. 

He said: “These innocent people have been through unimaginable pain and suffering over the last month, and by joining together today we are showing that we stand with them."

Cllr Georgia Gould was among thousands who joined with mayor of London Sadiq Khan at a solidarity march in London for Ukraine

Cllr Georgia Gould was among thousands who joined with mayor of London Sadiq Khan at a solidarity march in London for Ukraine - Credit: PA

Actor Dame Helen Mirren said: “It has been devastating to see this horrific ongoing attack against the people of Ukraine, and my thoughts are with them at this terrible time.

"It’s important that we send a message of support so that Ukrainians know that they are not alone, and I’m proud that the people of London are standing together in their name this Saturday.”