Everyone deserves to live in safety, no matter who they are or where they come from.
The horror of last week’s violence in Knowsley, Merseyside was inevitable and avoidable. But without urgent action, scenes like this could be repeated across the country.
When our leaders stoke the fires of division and repeatedly and unapologetically use dehumanising language to describe people who have fled war and persecution, they bear political responsibility for events like this.
This government must cease their anti-refugee politics and rhetoric now. Now is the time for sensible politics that fosters cohesion instead of division, and for an asylum system that is fair and compassionate.
Violence and division do not represent us. We know firsthand that the UK is a place of welcome. Together we must stand united in defence of a Britain as a place of safety for all. Now it’s time for our politicians to defend our values, too.
We are encouraging City of Sanctuary groups, awarded organisations and individuals involved in this movement of welcome to write to your MP reminding them that hostile words lead to hostile actions.
Note: This is a template only. Personalised letters will have more impact. Where possible, include details about the numbers of awarded organisations in your area or any other events/campaigns etc which have brought the community together. Stress that your constituency is a place of welcome.
I was horrified to see the scenes of hatred and violence against people seeking asylum last week in Merseyside.
Those in the asylum system have already suffered terribly. Most have fled places like Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Iran and Eritrea due to war and persecution. They have made terrifying journeys to reach safety. And now, due to shocking delays and a failing system, they are forced to experience even more anxiety and fear, in a place they do not know, placed in accommodation not of their choosing, unable to work and with no control on where they live or what their future holds.
Their lives are in limbo as they wait, sometimes for years, for a decision on their asylum claim. And it is clear that these massive delays are directly leading to the use of hotels for people seeking asylum – a completely inappropriate form of accommodation and a glaring confirmation that the system is broken.
Having already experienced great hardship, these men, women and children who come here for protection are now faced with violence, fuelled by the inflammatory and dehumanising language of politicians.
It is clear that hostile words lead to hostile actions. With the high risk of more premeditated extremist attacks around the country, I call on you to stand up for sensible politics that fosters cohesion instead of division.
As your constituent, I urge you to condemn this violence, reflect on your own use of language and pledge to call out dehumanising rhetoric used by other politicians.
YOUR ADDRESS (this is important to include as MPs will only respond to people within their constituencies)