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News ->London should unite against racist attacks

(8 July 2006)

Graffiti in BarkingLondon Mayor Ken Livingstone has called on Londoners across the city to stand up against the pockets of racism that threaten the unity of the city, urging Londoners to join the campaign against racist attacks in Barking and Dagenham. Since the beginning of May, there have been a number of racist attacks in the London borough of Barking & Dagenham. These have included violent assaults, stabbings and racial abuse.

Local community organisations have also reported an increase in other racist incidents including for-sale signs daubed with offensive racist graffiti. The most recent attack in the borough saw a 68-year old Sri Lankan man stabbed on 29 June.

In response to community concerns, the Mayor's Office has met with local residents, the race equality council, community organisations and trade unions in Barking & Dagenham to hear first hand the kinds of problems and racial harassment they have faced. Lee Jasper, the Mayor's Director for Equalities and Policing has also met with the Metropolitan Police Authority's London Race Hate Crime Forum (LRHCF), which has agreed to organise a meeting with police and council representatives to review the situation in Barking & Dagenham.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: 'London needs to unite against racism wherever it rears its head. I urge Londoners from every part of the city to stand up against the pockets of racism that can still exist in our city - such as the recent vicious racist attacks we have seen in Barking and Dagenham. Londoners have an interest in protecting the multicultural character of our city, which is central to the future success and prosperity of our city.

'Although racists attacks in London have now fallen every year for six years in London, we have to redouble our efforts to stamp out racism, such as the spate of racist attacks in Barking and Dagenham over the last two months.

'London has become the leading city on earth in which economic well-being combines with the classic definition of liberty - that provided you do not interfere with anyone else you can lead your life entirely in you own way.

'London's international character had become the greatest tool for its economic dynamism and the living standard of its whole population.

'Each successive generation that has come here has helped to shape the city we live in, bringing new skills, ideas and cultures that have made us into one of the most productive and exciting places on the planet.

'The racists and fascists who threaten the character of our city stand against the interests of all Londoners, whatever race or creed.'


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