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Nottingham and Lincoln Stand Up To Racism, Care4Calais, Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum and Refugee Roots hosted event in Newark in support of asylum seekers





An event aimed to break myths surrounding refugees and spread the message that they are welcome attracted groups, poets and singers from two counties.

Organised by Nottingham and Lincoln Stand Up To Racism groups with help from Care4Calais, Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum and Refugees Roots it took place in Newark Market Place on March 9.

The campaigners gathered from 10am to 1pm proclaiming ‘Newark Welcomes Refugees’ which attracted a lot of curiosity from people across town.

Campaigners from several groups in support of Asylum Seekers on Newark Market Place
Campaigners from several groups in support of Asylum Seekers on Newark Market Place

Throughout the event, Newark Market Place was home to Newark’s Earth Songs choir and Hope Sing Eternal from Louth, spoken word poet Manjit Sahota of Poets Against Racism.

The groups had a stall at the market with several leaflets supporting their campaign and explaining their beliefs, activities where children and adults could decorate kindness rocks with their own support messages to refugees.

The campaigners aim to demonstrate to the public that the current narrative across the media and government regarding refugees is not what they believe in, including the stop the boats motion and the Rhuanda scheme.

Refugee Event at Newark Market Place
Refugee Event at Newark Market Place

Newark-based organiser and campaigner Wendy Patterson said: “We are people of Newark who hold a different view and we want to welcome refugees and in the same way that when Ukraine was invaded by Russia and everyone was so eager about welcoming the Ukrainian refugees, we wonder why it is not the case for other refugees whose countries are also having wars.

“That is why the group in Nottingham and Lincoln called Stand Up To Racism is involved because we don’t know another explanation to why brown and black people are demonised and we think it is quite wrong and we want to show in the heat of Newark that are a lot of people here who welcome refugees and there are also a lot of people involved in support groups in many ways.

“We feel that it is important that the East Midlands has a voice on this and we do not have to listen to hate.

“Newark is in the middle but we also have an MP who is a key figure at the moment to the reasons that we object to in terms of refugees.

“He resigned his place in the cabinet because in his view the Rhuanda policy wasn’t strong enough and so he placed himself in the hard right of the conservative party.

“It is important to have it here in Newark because he has made himself so well known regarding his beliefs.

“Here in the heart of Newark, we say not in my name.”

Campaigners from several groups in support of Asylum Seekers on Newark Market Place singing
Campaigners from several groups in support of Asylum Seekers on Newark Market Place singing

Refugees from Syria supported the event by providing food which was available to the public at the market stall for free.

The groups believe that the myths surrounding refugees start when people think that they arrive in the country and everything from housing to money and jobs is provided to them and that they live a life of luxury.

However, the group denies such information and wants to spread the message that refugees are escaping from a life of terror to arrive in a place where they are hated and misunderstood.

Therefore, the group aims to welcome refugees with open arms and support.

Richard Buckwell of Nottingham Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) said: “In Newark, we are hoping to expose some of the myths around refugees which I think is so important because people have the idea that they come here and live a life of luxury which is very very far from the case.

“They are talking about using Scampton RAF place to house refugees which would be absolutely terrible because they would be remote from everyone.

“The reason people are seeking asylum is because they come from backgrounds of war, climate change, horrendous conditions and this is just adding to their misery so we are dead against the place being used.

“But if they are, we will support them.”

Manjit Sahota of Poets Against Racism
Manjit Sahota of Poets Against Racism
Refugee Event at Newark Market Place
Refugee Event at Newark Market Place

Annie Cunningham from Lincoln, a campaigner who helped organise the event in Newark added: “Newark is quite a unique place because it is mid-way between Nottingham and Lincoln so there are several refugees being displaced into the area.

“We want to show that we care, refugees are welcome.

“It is all a case of pulling resources and knowledge and trying to challenge the narrative.”

“The event was far more positive than we could have hoped, had a lot of conversations, gave out leaflets which are very clear about some of the myths that people come across and I would say that 99% of the people have been very receptive and those who aren’t receptive have been very polite and that is a surprise.”

Campaigners are hoping to organise more events across the county following the success on Saturday, March 9.



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