Everyone deserves to live in safety, no matter who they are or where they come from.
The violence directed towards a hotel housing newly arrived people seeking sanctuary in Knowsley in Merseyside on Friday does not represent us. We know firsthand that the UK is a place of welcome.
We work with individuals, groups and organisations in every area and in every sector to encourage inclusivity, solidarity and compassion for people forced to flee. Every day we support new organisations and institutions to start their own journey to foster welcome in their work. It’s a decision that no one regrets.
We know that when communities sow the seeds of welcome and understanding, everyone benefits from the harvest. Similarly, when hatred is left to grow unchecked, everyone is harmed.
Friday night’s events are a result of this government stoking the flames of division by repeatedly dehumanising and demonising people seeking safety. Their hostile rhetoric encourages people to blame those with the least, people who have fled war and persecution, for our hardships. Together we can resist this.
When the voices pushing hostility and division are loud – we must be even louder.
There are 120+ City of Sanctuary groups all over the UK and even more mainstream organisations working towards a Sanctuary award – that means wherever you live or work there are ways to stand in solidarity with people forced to flee.