Friday, 8 October 2010

ONE Leicester

So this weekend (after my one lecture this afternoon- life has somehow suddenly become a complete doss of leisurely breakfast watching Jeremy Kyle) I'll be heading west to Birmingham to hang out with my friend Alison Carter and a bunch more of our friends in honour of her belated 21st birthday. I'm going via the home city hoping to see my family,have a cuddle with my cat, pick up some shoes from my friend's house and avoid if possible any action that may or may not be kicking off in Leicester City Centre on Saturday.

I have read that a very small minority of people from the English Defence League will be staging some sort (I think static) demonstration in the city centre which will almost certainly be a very nasty display of racism towards the muslim community. Although it is great to speak out against this sort of thing I think the wisest thing for anyone wishing to counter their message of hate would be to avoid deliberately taking any action on Saturday, because from my little knowledge it seems the EDL group will surely relish the attention and any unrest caused in the city on account of their actions, and there is the potential to easily provoke violence.

However, I am encouraged to see that Leicester City Council, along with many individuals in Leicester, have been moved into action on the issue, organising certainly more peaceful and larger scale events today and Sunday allowing people to express their opinions to show unity against the racist messages brought by groups like the EDL. Marathon runners and the general public are invited to join in wearing lime green ribbons. If you are so pursuaded there will be a 'Hope not hate' peace vigil at the clock tower this afternoon (4.30pm) or a service held at Leicester Cathedral this evening for 'people of all faiths and none' (5.30pm).

Although I will be passing rather quickly through Leicester on Sunday afternoon, heading East for the harvest tea at church followed by much slobbing out and general recovery on the sofa, I am indeed half tempted to drop in and catch Billy Brag kicking off 'We Are One Leicester' festival proceedings on Humberstone Gate at 1 O'clock!

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