Local people will gather on Thursday to stand in solidarity against the racism and bigotry seen in the borough since it was announced that Britain will leave the EU.
According to police figures, there has been a small but alarming increase in hate crimes committed in Lewisham compared with June last year. Chair of the Lewisham EqualiTeam David Michael attributes this to Brexit “legitimising” xenophobia and his concerns echo those raised by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan last month.
Lewisham council has created a pledge to stand together against racism, xenophobia and bigotry. Those who attend this week’s event will support the pledge and agree to show solidarity with those most likely to experience intolerant behaviour.
Mr Michael says: “I’ve lived in Lewisham for over 40 years and the area has always been proud of its diverse community. The borough has always had strong partnership working to tackle and prevent racism and hate crime. This event will bring people together during this time of concern.”
The entire community is invited to attend the Council Chamber in the Civic Suite in Lewisham Town Hall, Catford from 7.30pm on Thursday July 28.
Those in attendance will include cabinet members, local police and religious leaders:
- Councillor Janet Daby, Cabinet member for Community Safety on Lewisham Council
- Chief Inspector Graham Price from Lewisham Police
- Imam Shakeel Begg from Lewisham Islamic Centre
- Joe Burchell from the Catford and Bromley Synagogue
- Tayo Disu, Chair of Lewisham Safer Neighbourhood Board
Mr Michael and the EqualiTeam in Lewisham are encouraging people to report hate crime using this app. However in an emergency you should always dial 999.