Leicester Stand Up to Racism

Refugees welcome here – No to Islamophobia – Yes to diversity

No to Racist Scapegoating in #LeicesterLockdown – Unity Statement

On 29th June the Government announced a Leicester-wide lockdown in response to a spike in Coronavirus cases in the city. Central government was aware that there had been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Leicester yet they only announced a local lockdown 11 days later. In doing so they put more lives at risk and delayed sharing vital information with local leaders.

New reports show Britain has the highest proportion (per 100,000) of COVID-19 deaths compared with other G7 countries and Europe. This is a direct result of the government’s failure to protect our communities. There has been a catalogue of failures in providing clear guidance, supplying PPE to all key workers, protecting care homes and setting up a system of test and trace. These failures have been compounded by a decade of cuts and privatisation. 

Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have suffered disproportionately during this crisis and there is widespread concern that they will take the brunt of the spike in infections. Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups have between 10-50% higher risk of mortality from COVID-19 in comparison with white British people. In Leicester as in other places there are pockets of poverty, inequality and high density housing which disproportionately affect our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. The inspiring explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement has also shone a light on structural inequalities that our communities face every day. 

Leicester people stand together and place responsibility for this crisis, both in Leicester and nationally at the door of Central Government. We recognise that a vocal minority is seeking to blame, stigmatise and scapegoat certain communities in Leicester for the increase in COVID 19 cases but we know that they are twisting the situation to spread their foul racist ideas.

Leicester is a thriving and diverse city with a tradition of tolerance and respect for all our communities. The people of this city are the solution to the spread of the virus, not the problem. 

We support the demand for an immediate public inquiry into the excessively high number of BAME deaths resulting from the virus. We call on all communities to stand united in this time of crisis.

Love Leicester, Hate Racism! Don’t let racism divide us!

Sign the statement here

  • Sital Singh Gill (National Executive & General Secretary Indian Workers Association GB (Leicestershire) 
  • Shockat Adam Patel Chair, MEND 
  • Dr Ismail Patel Chair, Friends of al-Aqsa
  • Iris Lightfoote (Chief Executive, The Race Equality Centre, Leicester)
  • Mohammed Lockhat (Director, Peace Centre, Thurnby Lodge, Leicester)
  • Hafiz Mohammed Zulkarnain (MGN Association, Leicester)
  • Christina Ndlove (Chair of Zimbabwe Action in Solidarity)
  • Yusuf Chambers (Trustee, TCR)
  • Jawaahir Daahir (Founder & CEO, Somali Development Services)
  • Ismaila Dioum (Senegalese community Dahira)
  • Abdul Gheewala (Chair. Islamic Education Trust, Leicester)
  • Yusuf Seedat (Secretary, Indian Muslim Association, Leicester)
  • Yasmin Surti (Secretary, Federation of Muslim Organisations)
  • Hanniya Kamran (Chair, Leicester Young People’s Council (YPC). Signing on behalf of the YPC)
  • Riaz Khan (Author)
  • Cllr Vijay Singh Riyait (Labour, Abbey)
  • Cllr Gary O’Donnell (Labour, Western)
  • Cllr Deborah Sangster (Labour, Castle)
  • Cllr Sharmen Rahman (Labour, Stoneygate)
  • Cllr Lindsay Broadwell (Labour, Western)
  • Cllr Melissa March (Labour, Knighton)
  • Cllr Karen Pickering (Labour, Eyres Monsell)
  • Cllr Patrick Kitterick (Labour, Castle)
  • Cllr Susan Waddington (Labour, Fosse)
  • Cllr Jacky Nangreave (Labour, Westcotes)
  • Cllr Lindsay Broadwell (Labour, Western)
  • Cllr Mustafa Malik (Labour, Spinney Hills)
  • Cllr Mohammed Dawood (Labour, Wycliffe Ward)
  • Emma Saunders (Leicester West Labour Party)
  • Leicester City Unison Branch
  • Debbie Field (Branch Sec, Westcotes Labour Party)
  • Judith Pranculyte (Former Migrant Worker Project Manager, TUC)
  • Helen Lentell (Chair of Labour Campaign Forum, personal capacity)
  • Bally Dhalu (Black Members Officer, Unison DMU personal capacity)
  • Mariya Muleya (Black Members Officer, Leicester City Unison, personal capacity)
  • Janet McKenna (Branch Secretary, Leicester City Unison, personal capacity)
  • Catherine Lewis (Womens Officer, Leicester City Unison, personal capacity)
  • Gaynor Garner (Branch Chair, Leicester City Unison)
  • Michael Barker ( Assistant Secretary of Leicester and District Trades Union Council, and Leicester City Unison, personal capacity)
  • Lara Hussein (Leicester Against Racism)
  • Psychologists for Social Change Leicester
  • Sardar Khidir Harris (person from Iraqi Kurdish community Leicester)  
  • Paul Brooke (Former chair, University of Leicester UCU)
  • Joseph Choonara (UCU member, Leicester University)
  • David Wainwright (Unite member)
  • Sam Wright
  • Christine Stubbendorff
  • Rajvinder khaira
  • Mo Peberdy (Disability Officer Leicester West Labour Party, Human being. LLB (Hons))
  • K Fearon
  • Mike winter
  • Kim Burley Jones (Labour Party)
  • Mark Sadler
  • Gopal Sall
  • Jackie Lewis (Leicester City Unison)
  • Becky Lopez (Leicester City Unison)
  • Angela graham
  • Linton Magume
  • Shannon Jade
  • Wayne Naylor
  • Timothy Noakes
  • Robert Waldram (Leicester West Labour Party)
  • Michael Shenton (Unite, Labour Party)
  • Dawn Martin
  • Bob Bagnall
  • Hilary Foster
  • Irene Murray (Trade Union Organiser)
  • Eric Norris
  • Katherine Hawker
  • Amanda Hart
  • Yasmin Surti (Federation of Muslim Organisations)
  • Chris Voss
  • Jennifer Varah
  • Marg Saunders
  • Diaraye Diallo
  • Maxine Browne
  • Cristina Lucas
  • Emma Wood
  • Lisa March
  • Andy Wynne (Treasurer, Western Ward Labour Party)
  • Shang Gahonia
  • Athina Karatzogianni
  • Sally Skyrme
  • Rehana Mulla
  • Olfa
  • Mokhtar Hussain (Unite the union. Labour Party)
  • Samantha
  • Nisar Navsariwala (Daddycation)
  • Anila Majid
  • Zebeda sharif
  • Lynda Small
  • Lynn Senior
  • Lesley Billings
  • Shazia Khan
  • Karen Wildin (STOP HS2)
  • Angela Graham
  • Peter Blohm
  • Susanne Hoche
  • Samantha Welch
  • Narendra Waghela
  • David Hall
  • Wajeeda Yusuf
  • Valerie Moss
  • Jonathan Dantzie
  • Washid miah
  • Nicola Ward
  • Alan Rowell
  • Nicola Purnell
  • Wendy Murphy
  • Linda Faulkner
  • Anita King
  • Eleanor Wells
  • Aabida Patel
  • Malick Mbye
  • Sadia Limbada
  • Melissa Drinkwater
  • Catherine Tate
  • Jane Squire
  • Bee Camarthan
  • Kerry Spriggs
  • Marge von Munchingindahausen
  • Jan Butler
  • Michelle Wright
  • Margaret Woods
  • Kitt Boulton
  • Helen Pettman (Labour Party and Unite community)
  • Steve Bonham (North Evington Ward Labour party)
  • Kim Hunter (Stand Up To Racism, Scarborough)
  • Zee Survay (Leicester Mutual Aid & ZFit)
  • Pauline
  • S Bishop
  • Suzanne McHenry
  • Dave Wilford (C.P.B. , Unite, Morning Star, C.N.D.)
  • Kala Subbuswamy
  • Dr Ameera Zumla
  • Maureen Bennett
  • Zara Jones
  • Monica Glover (Leicester LGBT Centre, personal capacity)
  • Jackie Earl (Leicester LGBT Centre, personal capacity)
  • Rob Kent (Unite. Leicester City Council Branch)
  • Julie-ann Carroll
  • Judith Cox
  • James Allen
  • Kathryn Harding
  • Azim Hajee

Leicester’s diversity is our strength. I wholeheartedly reject those seeking to blame our residents and our different communities for this outbreak. When we stand together in unity there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Claudia Webbe, Labour MP, Leicester East

Like you we are proud that Leicester is a thriving and diverse city with a strong tradition of tolerance and respect for all. We will not allow our city to become divided by a vocal minority that wants to scapegoat certain communities for the increase in Covid 19 cases, but instead stand in solidarity with one another.

Liz Kendall, Labour MP, Leicester West & Jon Ashworth, Labour MP Leicester South

The YPC is firmly against any form of racism and the scapegoating of BAME members of the community. We must celebrate our diversity, not let it divide us.

Hanniya Kamran – Leicester Young People’s Council

We live together, we work together, we pull together.

Kim Burley Jones

We have a responsibility as people living in Leicester not to let any one group be scapegoated for what is essentially the beginning of the second wave which was inevitable given the conflicting and often contradictory advice handed down from central government and make sure the blame for any new spikes is laid squarely with Boris Johnson’s Tory government who see no problems with breaking lockdown when it suits them

Becky Lopez

Love leicester. X

Angela Graham

By standing together, we are stronger as a city and as a community.

Wayne Naylor

Don’t scapegoat our BAME communities our government and our councils are aware of the issues that have brought Leicester into Lockdown. Do not be a part of the racism and division of our city.

Dawn Martin

Ignore the racist rhetoric and focus on what this government is still not doing to protect people’s lives.

Hilary Foster

I do agree with the statement 100%. And I believe every word is correct

Linton Magume

I stand with all BAME residents of Leicester who should not be scapegoated in this vicious way. Leicester was an amazing place to bring up my children, the racial diversity and harmony being it’s greatest strength.

Marg Saunders

Leicester’s diversity is our strength. I wholeheartedly reject those seeking to blame our residents and our different communities for this outbreak. When we stand together in unity there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Cristina Lucas

Leicester united always

Emma Wood

The diversity within Leicester is what makes it great.
Love Leicester, Love our diversity

Lisa March

I believe the nasty party has deliberately singled out Leicester as the first place to go back into lockdown because it is known for its diverse population. They know that out and out racists will run with the scapegoating and millions will follow, diverting attention away from the total mess they and their mates have created over the last few decades. Stick together people! Love Leicester Hate Racism.

Sally Skyrme

No to racism


I support the above statement in its entirety, and recognise the importance of Leicester taking a stand a against racism. We are proud of our diversity which is renowned and recognised both locally and nationally and long may it remain. I conclude by quoting the late Jo Cox “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.

Cllr Mohammed Dawood

Stop targeting the most diverse city in the U. K.
Racism has no place in Leicester.

Mokhtar Hussain

We are one leicester. Standing together. Celebrating diversity


Shameful behaviour from the government

Anila Majid

Protect our communities .. and keep all of us United

Zebeda sharif

Equality for all in Leicester

Lynda Small

Diversity is our strength.

Lynn Senior

Our BAME communities are not to blame.

Karen Wildin

We, too, are concerned about the divisive and blaming narratives relating to the Leicester lockdown. We need to recognise the complex systemic factors, such as racism and the exploitation of labour, which impact on the current situation (more so than individual choices) and show compassion and solidarity with each other. This is key if we are to learn from Leicester should localised lockdowns become a wider trend.

Psychologists for Social Change Leicester

 One Leicester

Angela Graham

Do not blame BAME for the current situation. I love leicester

Narendra Waghela

It has been incredibly sad seeing the comments over the last few weeks on local and national articles in relation to Leicester, the blaming of particular groups of people due to their locality and race has been inexcusable which has led to a lot of hate comments in comments section, many people from the community has seen these and being from the community it has had a visible impact on the mental health of those around me. This is not okay and media/press have a responsibility in the language used in order to manage the type of comments an article will get – articles posted online and on social media have an impact on those who read them but also the comment section.

Wajeeda Yusuf

Scapegoating is never helpful and in this situation can only cause harm. We need to work together to defeat Covid-19.

Valerie Moss

Leicester is a city with a wonderful history of bringing together all its diverse communities through well supported and imaginative projects that always set high standards and excellent examples of what can be achieved through working together..

Nicola Ward

There are disadvantaged areas in Leicester which have inevitably suffered the most. All of us need to support our neighbours, especially where there are failings. We really are in this together and Leicester has shown what humanity and strength there is in cherishing diversity. Leicester is known for this strength. We must confront and solve problems and build on the strengths to benefit everyone. Do not allow bitterness and racism to overpower all the good Leicester has achieved. Do not let negativity and hatred win

Wendy Murphy

Unity, diversity and respect is Leicester’s strength

Anita King

Stand together, support each other, stand up to racism

Jane Squire

When the virus peaked in most of the UK in april/may, people were not blamed for this. It was just seen as the inevitable tragic course of the disease, especially without early lockdown measures. Let’s pull together and not let racism divide us

Bee Camarthan

I’m a lifelong proud resident of Leicester and it’s diversity. Don’t let the few weeds spoil our garden! If covid 19 has taught us anything surely it’s how unity and love creates hope and wilfulness

Kerry Spriggs

Solidarity and love from London to all fighting against racism and prejudice in Leicester. 

Marge von Munchingindahausen

This is a beautiful, diverse city. Don’t let outsiders split us apart

Jan Butler

Solidarity to all those in Leicester at such a difficult time.

Margaret Woods

Proud of how people in the city have supported each other through the epidemic. Community solidarity is strong. A great city to live in.

Steve Bonham

Solidarity from Scarborough Stand up to Racism.

Kim Hunter

Leicester’s diversity is our strength. We cannot allow the negative media rhetoric to take away the unity and solidarity that makes our city great. Now more then ever before we need to come together as one so we can heal from this and rise once again.

Zee Survay

Keep at it COMRADES, we’ll beet the B***s in the end.

Dave Wilford

I’m proud to live in this vibrant, diverse city. This is a time for coming together and supporting each other, not allowing ourselves to be divided.

Kala Subbuswamy

Unity is strength. Let us stand united to wipe out the evil that is racism.

Maureen Bennett

I totally agree with the article. We all have to make a conscious effort to assess and eradicate discrimination. Leicester is a vibrant exciting city to live and work in. City lets get together and make it an equal society.

Zara Jones

Leicester is a great city and the people that actually live in the city embrace and enjoy the Leicester Mish mash. Unity is our strength.

Rob Kent

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