We went to the round table of the DCLG hosted by Baroness Williams of Trafford, minister for integration and faith and equalities, to discuss what can we all do together to help our communities live peacefully again, and how the Government can help us to achieve it. We were the only organisation representing interests and views of the Eastern European communities in the UK.
We talked about reports of increased racially-motivated bullying at schools and harassment in the workplace. Passing on from our friends from UK Race Equality Network, we also pointed out to increase of hate speech in social media.
Baroness Williams were very understanding and empathetic for all our fellow expats who experience hate speech, hate crime and harassment following the Brexit referendum. She told us that: she was meeting Twitter to discuss how they can help to stop spreading hate speech; an issue of racial bullying at school needs to stamped out and she would speak with education authorities to address the issue; and issued a strong statement that harassment of migrant workers is wrong in the best of times and unacceptable now, with European migrant workers feeling vulnerable being ‘at the bottom of the pile’ already.
We have offered our support to her efforts to bring communities together. We are particularly keen to see Eastern European churches joining inter-faith forums across the country and working with other faith leaders on bringing peace and harmony to our communities and neighbourhoods.
Have you been harassed at work or your child bullied at school or you received threats/abuse as a Eastern European? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
On the photograph above: Baroness Williams in the centre front row, Barbara (EEAC Director) in the back, first from the right.