Stand up for a safer and kinder Brighton and Hove

Phelim MacCafferty, convener of the Green Group on Brighton & Hove City Council
Phelim MacCafferty, convener of the Green Group on Brighton & Hove City Council

This week an instructive report on Brexit has been published from the anti-racism organisation Hope not Hate.

Sixty-five per cent of people in Brighton and Hove believe that Brexit has increased racism and division, while nationally almost one in two agree that Brexit has legitimised prejudice towards migrants and ethnic minorities.

The report draws disturbing conclusions about the growth of the far right which is now considered the greatest threat to public order to those surveyed.

Greens continue to deepen our opposition to Brexit and the toxic hate it has unleashed in our communities.

Many of our European residents have lived and worked here all their adult lives yet now – unbelievably – are being asked to seek permission to stay.

Many now feel unwelcome, something we unequivocally condemn.

A Green proposal going to a council meeting next week asks for more help to be given to our European residents now faced with making an application to stay in the UK. We repeat our call: you are welcome here.

Against the backdrop of a divisive Brexit our voices must ring louder against hate and division.

The fallout from the Brexit vote means the struggle against hate crime continues. Recently published figures from Sussex Police remind us we still have much work to do on challenging prejudice in the city.

Hate crimes towards trans people are up 43 per cent while disability motivated hate crime has increased by a quarter.

This mirrors a worrying national trend– with studies showing that recorded transphobic hate crime has rocketed 81 per cent.

This weekend, our city will celebrate Trans Pride and Greens will once again stand up for equality.

Last week, the city celebrated people with disabilities in our community.

Both events are a reminder that day in, day out and despite growing prejudice, community organisations and individuals in our city continue to challenge hate and instead offer hope and support.

Together, we will stand up for a safer, kinder, welcoming Brighton and Hove.