Fight Against Hate Campaign – Day of Action 18.10.17
Children from Summerfield Primary School sang to the chief police officer and other city leaders at the city church in a plea for more action on hate crime. In a day of action organised by Citizens:mk, as part of national Hate Crime Awareness week, the school choir sang a specially composed song, ‘Love is stronger than hate’. “People look different, but inside we’re all the same,” the children sang. “If we stand up strong together, we can stamp out hate forever.”
Clapped on by 75 supporters from 16 MK faith, education and business organisations, the song helped to secure specific pledges of further action from city power-holders.
There were a series of testimonies from victims of hate crime, including male and female muslims who had experienced Islamophobic hate against them and a gay man who had been assaulted in a club for dancing with his partner.
There were pledges from Thames Valley Police, the Council and Network Rail which included plans to organise a workshop on restorative justice, and plans to host two Healing through hearing events for victims of hate crimes.
Arriva Buses also officially launched a new bus poster campaign to raise awareness of hate.
Fidele Mutwarisibo, who leads the Citizens:mk Fight Against Hate campaign team, said: “Milton Keynes is a great place to live and work, but there has been a 14% increase in reported hate crime over the past year and we must work together to do something about it.”
As part of the Day of Action, two large banners featuring the children’s ‘love is stronger than hate’ posters, were hung from the front of the Church of Christ the Cornerstone. John Robertson, MK Mission Partnership’s Director of Ecumenical Mission, officially unveiled them.
John was delighted to be involved. “It was great to see the community coming together to stand against hate crime and take action together to oppose it. When we work in partnership and stand alongside each other we can change things.”
Citizen:mk’s full news story can be found here
Photo credit: Mubasher Maqbool