A rally of 500 or more people in the Old Market Square, in front of The Council House, concerned about xenophobic hatred, noticeable in some parts of the country since the Referendum.
Following speakers, performing at 11, condemning the current spate of proto-fascism, my gentle story-telling of 5 significant episodes of Nottingham history (forgetting that “sn” is not a consonant, and needing help from the audience to remember Wilberforce’s name and then forgetting to make the point of that story, I could see the waves of indifference sweeping through the crowd. La-de-da.
But my conclusion was to emphasise that government is set up to tackle hate-crime (oh dear, I even referred to service planning) cos we are the majority now.
I then appeared on Notts TV to say I’d thought Nottingham had behaved pretty well and that our main concern was people not reporting incidents of hate crime.
[This is something I’d been saying at the Police Panel at the beginning of this month and at the Police Commissioner’s consultation meeting with the Muslim community in April (I think).]
POST MEETING NOTES (30th June)
Councillors are receiving a round robin that says -“I am very concerned in the reported rise in racism, xenophobia and hate crimes. I believe that we all have a duty to stand up and stamp out racism and xenophobia.
I am therefore writing to ask you to please table, and encourage others to support, this motion in your next council meeting:
“We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country. We Nottingham City Council condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We will not allow hate to become acceptable.
Nottingham City Council will work to ensure local bodies and programmes have support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia.
We reassure all people living in Nottingham that they are valued members of our community.”
I would also like you to publically condemn any such attacks and make it clear what steps the council will take to tackle this racist, xenophobic and criminal behaviour.”
Further to the above, the city-wide perspective is – regarding “your concerns in regards to the reported rise in racism, xenophobia and hate crimes.
“As a City Council we have placed a large emphasis on tackling hate crime. Our emphasis on these issues have helped us deliver a reduction in hate crime of 29% in the last term of Council and [is] why our Nottingham Labour manifesto for 2015 contained the commitment to ‘increase reporting of hate crime as well as reducing the number of repeat victims by 20%’.
“We are closely monitoring any developments and comparing them to previous years to ensure we know whether there is any such rise in hate crime.
“Nottingham is a diverse city with mixed neighbourhoods and communities. That’s something I’m proud of as a Labour Councillor.
“Racism and xenophobia should not be tolerated and I would encourage anyone who suffers hate crime to report it to the police.
“It is worth noting hate crime is defined by the victim and that they should not feel any hesitation to contact the police. If they feel at threat they should call 999 or 101 in other incidences. Third party reports can also be made. …
“As a Council we want to help to mend any divisions which may have arisen in the city as a result of the EU referendum campaign and will aim to work with citizens to move forward as a City, looking after each other and binding our communities together so Nottingham remains a great place to live, visit, work and invest in.”