Opinion: Our community spirit is inspirational

PUBLISHED: 08:30 04 May 2019

City & East AM Unmesh Desai is inspired by Newham's community spirit.

City & East AM Unmesh Desai is inspired by Newham's community spirit.


The Newham community’s ability to come together never fails to inspire me.

Following the horrific terrorist attack in Colombo which killed at least 250 people, a meeting was arranged at the Trinity Centre and a vigil took place outside the East Ham Town Hall.

At the vigil, I was impressed to see so many local people in attendance and the solidarity they displayed.

In my last column, I discussed the need for us to redouble our efforts to combat hate crime in our community in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

I have now written to the home secretary, calling for an urgent review of the policy around protecting places of worship here in the London and to ensure that all funding allocated by the Home Office for these purposes is being used effectively.

With the football season coming to a close, it is important that we reflect upon the fact that there is still a huge amount that needs to be done to ensure that racism is kicked out of the game once and for all.

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I recently held a meeting with the lead officer from the Met's Hate Crime Unit to discuss how we can achieve this.

I also have met with campaigners to discuss how to keep the pressure on West Ham Utd to disassociate themselves from 'DFLA'.

There has been some small progress in this area and recognition of the issue from the club, who have confirmed that they are monitoring the far-right group.

In line with this work, I am a member of Show Racism the Red Card's Advisory Council and look forward to hosting them at City Hall in May.

I recently spoke at an east London meeting marking the 40th anniversary of the tragic death of Blair Peach during a protest against the National Front in Southall, which I also attended. I have backed calls for a public inquiry into his death.

Finally, I have released a new publication, 'Fighting Austerity: Care for our Cops, Protect our City' which you can find on my London Assembly webpage.

The fight for fairer funding for policing in London continues.

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