This Saturday, 4th June, a group which calls itself “South Coast Resistance” plans to protest at Brighton & Hove’s willingness to welcome refugees from Syria. Sanctuary on Sea has condemned the march in an open letter signed by local MPs Caroline Lucas (Green) and Peter Kyle (Labour), Councillor Pete West, the city’s mayor, and no less than eight university professors, as well as prominent local artists, including jazz musician Herbie Flowers.
The letter points out that Brighton and Hove is a City of Sanctuary that believes in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. The city’s residents do not merely tolerate diversity, but celebrate it, as they will be doing at the Kemptown Carnival, which will also take place on Saturday.
The letter ends, “South Coast Resistance and its like may say it is exercising its right to free speech. But freedom of speech comes with a duty to use it for peace and the common good. We say to them and to any similar organisation, any attempt to divide people and spread hatred is not in our name. You do not represent our views and you are not welcome in Brighton or Hove.”
Read the letter in full here, together with the list of signatories, which were sadly omitted from the version printed in the Argus.
Please show that refugees are welcome are welcome in Brighton & Hove by printing this poster and putting it up in your window – especially if you are business in the city centre – or wherever you can!