Statement of Unity and Solidarity

Statement of Unity and Solidarity

Sep 19, 2023

At CDEC, we are concerned that tensions are rising in Carlisle, and across Cumbria and the UK around people seeking asylum being housed in local hotels.

Today, we are asking our communities to unite and support each other in the face of division and hatred.

We believe our communities should be

safe places for all people

and those who need help should be given it.

We are asking you and your neighbours to stand together in solidarity against hatred, to demonstrate the best of our city. A city that has a long and proud history of helping those in need, of supporting each other and being a place of safety.

There are of course legitimate concerns which we share about levels of homelessness, poor support for veterans, lack of social housing, crime and anti-social behaviour, safety for women and children and the cost of living crisis. These are concerns that should be voiced and we ask you to channel those feelings/voice your anger to those with the power to change things rather than allowing those with the least to become the scapegoats.

We condemn expressions of hatred, scaremongering, and scapegoating - whether on social media, leaflets, or on marches and protests. History has shown us where this can lead, and it has no place in the UK today.

Our friends at Penrith and Eden Refugee Network have created some fact sheets which can help counter mis- and disinformation - find them here

What action can you take as an individual?

Our friends at Anti Racist Cumbria have put together this list:

  • Write to your MP and councillor (this document and template may be useful)
  • Ask your employer what action they are taking. Are they sharing a statement? Providing training? Pre-bunking myths? Creating an anti-racist culture?
  • Educate yourself with facts, follow accounts like Hope Not Hate, Care4Calais, everydayracism, Choose Love and more.
  • If you find yourself in conversations/spaces with differing views try and open discussion up rather than shout each other down (share good stories, facts, ask open questions)
  • Counter hate-filled spaces when you can, you can’t (and shouldn’t) comment on every single social media space and platform but if you have the capacity (and you feel robust enough in your own wellbeing) to it can help break up a thread where harsher comments dominate.
  • Check those around you are ok. Constant racist rhetoric is exhausting to hear let alone experience.