Suffolk Solidarity: 11 organisations pledge to protect non-UK nationals living in Suffolk from violence and discrimination following EU vote
PUBLISHED: 17:07 27 June 2016 | UPDATED: 18:34 27 June 2016
Do not let Britain's decision to leave the European Union damage Suffolk's reputation as a welcoming and tolerant community.
That is the message behind a new campaign called Suffolk Solidarity, which is urging people to help protect non-UK nationals living in Suffolk from discrimination and violence, and has already gained the support of 11 organisations.
It comes as reports suggest there has been a rise in hate crimes in the UK since the EU referendum result on Thursday.
Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality has penned a pledge, which has been signed by Ipswich Community Media, Suffolk Refugee Support, Tackling Discrimination in the East, Suffolk Law Advice Centre, Suffolk User Forum, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust, Oyster Community Press CiC, Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP), Healthwatch Suffolk and Outreach Youth.
The pledge reads: “As local organisations that seek to support some of the most vulnerable communities in our county from illegal discrimination, exploitation and marginalisation, we are very concerned about the recent upsurge in attacks on non-UK nationals since the EU Referendum result was announced.
“We all accept the validity of the poll in question, but we are worried that some of the anti-foreigner rhetoric used during the campaign has raised community tensions in some parts of the country and might be encouraging a small minority to commit acts of vandalism and verbal and physical violence.
“We want to avoid any such incidents in Suffolk – a county which has a proud tradition of welcoming people from a broad range of countries, cultures and faith systems. That is why we are are urging community leaders, politicians, local councils, voluntary organisations and schools and colleges to join with us in being good neighbours to all our citizens and promoting acceptance and tolerance of others.
“Suffolk is stronger when we support each other. Please do not let the fallout from the EU vote damage individual friendships and community relationships. Please support our campaign #SuffolkSolidarity”