What began as an appeal on social media turned into an event that organisers say gathered more than 100,000 people in central London in support of refugees.
Just hours after he had become the new leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn also turned up to deliver a “speech”:.
A similar if smaller rally was held in Copenhagen.
“I think we are just here to show solidarity with the refugees, they’re just looking for just a bit of humanity from people in a world which sees they’ve lost so much. So we want to show our support and tell people that refugees are welcome in England,” said one man.
“We’re here today with our families to say that our government should open the border and let these refugees in. These people aren’t here for benefits, they’re escaping our bombs and it’s about time we take our responsibilities to the decades of chaos we caused in the Middle East,” said one woman.
However anti-migrant events were held in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, underlining an emerging east-west split in opinion over the refugees’ plight. The EU’s eastern members have refused Germany’s proposals for quotas to spread the burden.