Following the dreadful news of what had happened in Manchester, it was inevitable that in Hackney we would want to respond in a way which honoured the dead, and challenged the hate-filled ideology of the perpetrators. So with just six hours notice we called an emergency community meeting to discuss the shocking events. Over 40 people attended a meeting at the North London Muslim Community Centre, where we were welcomed by the centre’s chair. Speakers from Hackney’s diverse faith (and non-faith) communities talked about our shared humanity and then we got down to the core business. Recognising that the perpetrators want to spread fear, mistrust and hatred, how could we work together to build confidence, trust and friendship?
While the discussions will no doubt continue, the key initial decisions were,
- to draft a ‘joint statement’ which we will circulate around community groups in the borough
- to organise a day’s leafleting for the forthcoming #hackneymoreincommon event, and
- to keep talking