On Friday 10th February far right demonstrators clashed with police outside a hotel in Knowsley which is housing asylum seekers. In response to the events, 180 sector wide organisations signed an open letter co-ordinated by coalition campaign Together With Refugees to leaders of all parties. The letter calls on party leaders to ‘take a clear stand and condemn any further violence against those who come here to find safety’. 

Refugee Women Connect are proud to be one of the organisations who have signed the letter.

See the full letter below

"Dear Party Leaders
The scenes of hatred and violence against people seeking asylum on Friday were horrifying. We stand in solidarity with them and with all those who have come to the UK to find protection. These awful acts do not represent the people of Knowsley.

Those in the asylum system have already suffered terribly. Most have fled places like Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Iran and Eritrea due to war and persecution. They have made terrifying journeys to reach safety. And now, due to shocking delays and a failing system, they are forced to experience even more anxiety and fear, in a place they do not know, placed in accommodation not of their choosing, unable to work and with no control on where they live or what their future holds. 

Their lives are in limbo as they wait, sometimes for years, for a decision on their asylum claim. And it is clear that these massive delays are directly leading to the use of hotels for people seeking asylum – a completely inappropriate form of accommodation and a glaring confirmation that the system is broken. 

Having already experienced great hardship, these men, women and children who come here for protection are now faced with violence, fuelled by inflammatory language of ‘invasion’ and policies that demonise them. The responsibility to create a system that is fair and compassionate, and brings cohesion instead of division, lies with our decision makers. 

With the high risk of more premeditated extremist attacks around the country, leaders of all parties must now take a clear stand and condemn any further violence against those who come here to find safety, and set out the action they will take to prevent it. Those who incite this anger and violence bring shame on this country, on the vast majority who are proud of our history of helping those in danger around the world. This does not reflect the people of Britain.

This is not who we are."

Call for a clear stand from political leaders after attack on Knowsley hotel - Together With Refugees

Leaders urged to ‘take a stand’ after violence outside Knowsley asylum hotel | Refugees | The Guardian

Politicians urged to take clear stand against violence towards asylum seekers | The Independent