Respect is due

IPSWICH'S multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith communities celebrated their diversity at this year's Respect festival. Held at Suffolk College on Saturday , the festival included a vast array of stalls highlighting the different communities that live side by side in the town.

IPSWICH'S multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith communities celebrated their diversity at this year's Respect festival.

Held at Suffolk College on Saturday , the festival included a vast array of stalls highlighting the different communities that live side by side in the town.

Organiser Pam Littlejohn said: "To me respect is the right word to use whether it be referring to the beliefs or the ways of life of those around us. Today is a big celebration and a way of getting everyone together."

Mrs Littlejohn said the day also stressed the current headline hitting campaigns to Make Poverty History and stop hate crime.

Pam's daughter Shelly Littlejohn was among those organising the evening entertainment.

Shelly, 19, said: "There are DJ workshops, an open microphone competition to showcase different Ipswich artists."

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Kurdish dancers, the Pan-African Vocal Group, YT-a dance hall and ragga artist, were among those performing. Woodbridge-based singer Nate James made a guest appearance.

Shelly added: "Tonight is about bringing the people of Ipswich together and having fun but also raising awareness about prejudice and getting rid of hate crime."

Rob Littlejohn, Shelly's brother, a producer with BBC Radio's 1 Xtra station saids he had been a victim of a racist attack in Paris.

Rob, 30, added: "There is no reason behind hate crime and no justification for it. Today people have come from all races and all ways of life. Ipswich has always had a multi-cultural community and it is important to have an event that unites people and gets people to mix with each other and learn about each other."

Did you enjoy the Respect Festival? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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