We stand together

12 July 2016

Greater Manchester Faith Community Leaders launch a campaign to promote acts of kindness and inclusion between people of different faith or ethnic communities in Greater Manchester this Tuesday, 12 July, in response to the recent increase in Race Hate incidents following the EU Referendum result.

The campaign will be under the banner of #WeStandTogether – and has the full support of the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and the Police and Crime Commissioner of Greater Manchester.

Members of the Faith Community Leaders will unveil the campaign at Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, M3 1SX, at 4pm on Tuesday 12 July by:

a) Signing a public statement
b) Showing how race hate incidents can be reported
c) Using social media to tell “Good News” stories of acts of friendship and kindness between people from different faith or ethnic communities – using the tag #WeStandTogether
d) Finding central places where “Good News” stories are compiled and promoted
e) Seeking opportunities to hold similar meetings in local community settings
 

The Faith Community Leaders statement is reproduced below. Signatories are being added all the time. To add your name to it, please email the group’s secretary, Steve Williams: saintgabriel100@gmail.com


Statement concerning Community Relations after the EU Referendum Result
We stand together as representatives of Greater Manchester's communities of faith.
Our different traditions unite in common concern for the welfare of our neighbour, whatever their age, social background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or belief.
 

Many views were expressed during the EU Referendum debate. We recognise the strong emotions they awakened. But there is never any excuse for hate-crimes, intolerant language nor discriminatory behaviour. We are especially saddened by reports of the most recent incidents once the Referendum's outcome was known - and we declare ourselves in solidarity with all who have suffered as a result of them, many of whom have been made to feel they have no place here when this is their home.
 

Today, we call on all people everywhere to build on the foundation of the strong, cohesive, diverse and mutually supportive community that we know Greater Manchester to be.
 

We will sustain the welcome that we offer to all newcomers.
We will build bridges of understanding and trust.
We will remove barriers of suspicion and fear.

Through being open to one another, we will remain open to the rich traditions of faith that inspire us and that can nourish our common life.

We invite our people to take initiatives of kindness and care in their local neighbourhoods - to befriend, to visit, to represent or to help - especially including those who have been made to feel that they don't belong here.

Together, we shall demonstrate the truly inclusive and welcoming community we know Greater Manchester to be – and to recognize our citizenship in the one world that we all share.

We would urge anyone who is a victim of hate crime to come forward and report it to police. You will be listened to, you will be taken seriously. You can report online by visiting www.report-it.org.uk, or by calling police on 101. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the police, there is also a network of independent centres who will report the incident to the police on your behalf. You can find details of these centres at www.gmp.police.uk/hatecrime