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Preston to unite against racism once more in face of ‘rise in community tensions’

Posted on - 21st March, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Flag Market, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Salsa dancing on the Flag Market
Salsa dancing on the Flag Market at last year’s Preston Standing Together Against Racism

Preston is to host a Standing Together Against Racism day for the sixth year.

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Community groups and organisations have organised the event to show their commitment to tackling racism in what they call a “difficult environment”. It marks the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Live music, performances and speeches will celebrate Preston’s rich cultural life. There will be appearances from Caribbean Rhythm Dance Troupe, Salsa Northwest and DJ Kash Bollywood Dance among others.

This year’s organisers are Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council, Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, and UCLan’s Creative Communities Group.

Read more: Preston ‘hate rant’ taxi driver still under investigation

Veronica Afrin, Chair of Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council, said: “Preston has enjoyed cultural and faith diversity for a long period of time due to the immense goodwill of the citizens of Preston.

“In the current political and economic uncertainties we are beginning to see a rise in racism and community tensions, and in this difficult environment we all need to support each other and fight inequality and injustice in our society.”

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of the City Council, said: “With tensions approaching in our country with Brexit, it is essential our young people are encouraged to envisage a society that is unified and free from discrimination.

“That is why I am asking you to support this year’s Standing Together Against Racism event. Tackling racism is about winning hearts and minds, which must start with the young.  If we don’t try to do this, whole sections of the community are potentially made more vulnerable going into the future.”

Read more: Vigil in memory of New Zealand mosque attack victims to take place on Preston’s Flag Market

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council Cabinet Member for Community and Cultural Service, said: “This event will address a sensitive subject by promoting positive messages rather than focusing on negative prejudice.

“It is so important to recognise and support this International Day. Bringing all communities together to promote fairness, justice and equality for all our residents is definitely to be celebrated.

“Preston is proud of its diverse society that is both harmonious and cohesive. We all need to continue to take an active role building on the achievements we have made.”

Preston Standing Together Against Racism will take place on the Flag Market on Saturday 23 March from 11am to 1pm. It’s free to attend.

Will you be going to the event? Let us know in the comments below.

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