Vigils for victims of New Zealand terror attacks outside Hove Town Hall

The vigil at Hove Town Hall (Credit: Sanctuary on Sea)
The vigil at Hove Town Hall (Credit: Sanctuary on Sea)

Hundreds gathered for a vigil to remember those killed or injured in the attacks in New Zealand.

They also stood in solidarity with those affected by incidents in Stanwell, Surrey and in Birmingham this week.

At 4.30pm on Thursday (March 21) the vigil was held outside Hove Town Hall, organised by community group One Voice.

There was a minute's silence for the victims of the attacks, with members of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths standing in solidarity.

Sanctuary on Sea, an organisation which helps to make refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome and included, was also represented at the vigil.

Richard Williams, chair of Sanctuary on Sea, said: "In this interconnected world, people feel hurt and frightened when atrocities are committed, whether across the other side of the world, or closer to home.

"I was proud to see so many people from communities across our city come together in love and solidarity.

"Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand has called for a global effort to weed out poisonous far right ideology and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish.

"More than that, we have to tackle the everyday racism that too many people experience in our city. It is up to all of us to do all we can to make sure that everyone feels welcome and safe on the streets, on the buses, on the seafront and in every part of our city. Only then will we be a true City of Sanctuary."

One Voice, the group which organised teh vigil, is made up of a several community and faith groups from across the city.

A One Voice spokesperson said: "We do not tolerate violence against innocent people, wherever it takes place. Together we speak with one voice against extremist perspectives and terrorist actions in the city and elsewhere."

"The Brighton & Hove One Voice Partnership reaffirms that communities, council and police stand together in solidarity with our Muslim communities following the tragic incident in Christchurch, New Zealand. We stand firm that these acts of violence, Islamophobia and hate must not go any further. We stand together to counter the threat from the far right.

"It’s now even more important for all our communities to demonstrate that we will not let any terrorist action divide us and continue our great tradition of unity and respect for all. We must look out and care for each other and ensure that individuals, communities and places of worship are not singled out in our city.

"One Voice Partnership urges all our communities to stand together as one to stop these acts of violence and hatred from carrying on further and work together to stop Islamophobia, racist and other hate incidents."

Brighton and Hove Police tweeted: "We are #StrongerTogether! We were proud to stand shoulder to shoulder today at the #Vigil for #NewZealandTerroristAttack #Brighton #Hove #Bootsontheground."

Sussex Friends of Israel said: "We joined many others this afternoon at Hove Town Hall for the 'One Voice' vigil to pay our respects to all those murdered in the ChristchurchMosqueAttack Hate is hate, it will never win! Our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this deplorable & mindless act."

Brighton & Hove LGBT said: "We joined #Brighton faith & BME communities at the #onevoice vigil at #hove town hall to mark our respect to the victims of #hate in #NewZealand and our commitment to standing together, in solidarity, for equality, inclusion & #love. #moreincommon #LGBTQ #Sussex."