Leicester’s Jubilee Square held a ‘We are Together’ vigil on Saturday 2nd July, as a message of tolerance and solidarity. The event was organised by the Leicester Council of Faiths, following the shock from the British electorate’s decision last week to quit the European Union.
The referendum has left many scars, divisions and the major decision has been felt across the UK and beyond. There has been a growing trend of hate crime and racist incidents since last week and the vigil allowed over one hundred people across all faiths and communities to gather together, in order to raise their concerns in a peaceful and democratic way.
The aim was to show that Leicester is united, tolerant and will stand together to face any challenges.
Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, said: “It’s important that the police are part of the local community.
“We police with local communities and you’ve got a section of the local community who want to make sure that all of us can live together safely, so that’s an important part of what we do, said Simon.
“In a typical day, we would deal with two or three reports of a hate crime, that’s changed slightly in the last ten days or so and it’s gone up to four or five, we take all of those reports very seriously.
“People can call 101 or if you put the words ‘true vision’ into a website, they will be able to report things, and then we can start to look at what’s happening, investigate and robustly pursue offenders.”
Fayyaz Suleman, Vice Chair of the Leicester Council of Faiths, said: “This event is to bring together faith and community leaders, as well as civic leaders, to show our unity and solidarity in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, and to be able to counter the negativity around migrants, xenophobia and racism that has been shown across the country and locally.
“It will make a difference because not only does it symbolise the unity of Leicester from the diverse faith communities of the city, he said.
“We’ve heard from speakers from different communities, the police and political establishments with a clear message, that Leicester is diverse, as people of different religious beliefs and backgrounds all work alongside one another in order to become prosperous together.”
The hour-long event also held a minute’s silence for the victims of terror attack all over the world including the recent ones in Turkey and Bangladesh.