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Four months since the London Citizens Mayoral Assembly

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Big win today as Sadiq Khan announces a Deputy Mayor for Social Integration – as we called for at our Mayoral Assembly in April. We’ll work closely with the Mayor’s Office to make sure this role delivers on our priorities of supporting young Londoners to register as citizens and welcoming refugees.

That’s a massive break through and is part of a bigger story of engagement with the Mayor and progress on our priorities. 

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Paddington waits to hear how many Redbridge can take

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Cllr Athwal agrees to resettle children under the Dubs Amendment, does not specify how many, but will give further clarity in meeting with Redbridge Citizens after visiting Calais.

On Wednesday 31 August 2016, 27 leaders from Redbridge Citizens, dressed as Paddington bears, met with Leader of Redbridge, Jas Athwal, and Deputy Leader, Elaine Norman, on the steps of the Redbridge Town Hall, to ask the council to resettle 5 refugee children from Calais who have the right to be brought to safety in the UK. This latest action is part of a 2 year campaign that Redbridge Citizens has been running to resettle Syrians in the Borough. Thus far, 9 councils in London, including Ealing, Kingston, Barnet, Lambeth, Hackney, Camden and Islington, have participated in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. However, Redbridge has not resettled a single Syrian refugee, nor do they have a plan to do so, according to a recent Freedom of Information request carried out by Citizens UK.

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Kelly Avenue Park: A Revival

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As a community, Peckham is bound together by a strong multi-cultural and diverse population and its dedication to the way its citizens live together as a community. This was evident in an unprecedented and fun event that happened on the 9th of July; a free-for-all luncheon including various child oriented activities at the Central Venture Playground (known locally as Kelly Avenue Park). The event was organised by the recently founded Peckham Citizens, an alliance of local churches, schools and charities that have worked together as part of a yearlong campaign to make the park clean and safe.

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Us Together: Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life.

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Last July, as a young adult member of The Salvation Army Corps in Stepney, I was invited to take part in a BBC Radio 4 recorded discussion, marking the launch into the Citizens UK Commission into Islam, Participation and Public Life.  Gathered together in a room in the East London Mosque were a group of young people from different backgrounds, responding to comments made by David Cameron in his speech about extremism, and discussing the young British Muslim identity.  I heard a cry of pain graciously articulated amongst those present that I had not fully recognised before. My eyes were opened for the first time to how multi-faceted the issues facing British Muslims are. We could never have imagined the situation that we see now, a year later.

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Child refugees: Vanessa Redgrave delivers urgent letter to Downing Street on lone child refugees in Calais

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Vanessa Redgrave, Lord Alf Dubs and Aislin McGuckin today delivered a letter to Downing Street calling for an immediate amnesty for the unaccompanied minors in Calais identified by Citizens UK as having family in the UK. This action follows Wednesday’s Home Affairs Committee report, Migration Crisis, which called for the 157 unaccompanied minors in Calais identified by Citizens UK to be brought to the UK in a one-off amnesty.

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New figures on child refugees in Calais

Citizens UK revealed today that they have identified 170 unaccompanied children in Calais who have a legal right to be with their families in the UK while their asylum claims are processed. This coincides with today’s launch of the Home Affairs Committee report, Migration Crisis, which finds that family reunification for unaccompanied minors in Calais is taking too long, and says those children "should already have arrived" in the UK. It goes on to recommend that the Government should, as a one-off, accept all of these children into the UK now.

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Court of Appeal upholds Home Office appeal on Syrian refugee case

In January, following a legal case supported by Citizens UK, three Syrian children and a young adult with mental health problems were granted permission by the UK Courts to travel from the ‘Calais Jungle’ to the UK legally, to be with their UK-based families while their asylum claims were processed. This is the first time this had ever happened.

The judge ruled that their right to family life should be upheld, and the UK’s lack of a formal Dublin 3 procedure (under which no children in Calais had been reunited with their families) should not prevent the claimants from accessing that right.

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London For All: No Place For Hate Rally against Hate Crime

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London Citizens, the community organising alliance, held a unity rally in London on the afternoon of Sunday 31st July in an act of solidarity with communities impacted by a reported rise in hate crime.

For some Londoners racist and xenophobic abuse is not a new phenomenon, but the surge in reported incidents after the EU referendum (which showed more than 6,000 alleged hate crimes reported to police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the four weeks since 16 June) has left many communities and individuals worried.

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London For All - Rally against Hate Crime

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London Citizens is holding a "No Place For Hate Rally" on Sunday 31st July. Teams shall gather at St George's Cathedral SE1 7HY and Tower Hill Gardens EC3N 4DR before moving towards Tower Bridge and finishing at City Hall. 

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Welcome Summit

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The Welcome Summit on Saturday 10th September is a gathering for the groups behind the Refugees Welcome movement from right across the country.

It's a moment, one year on from the tragic death of Aylan Kurdi, to come together and celebrate what we've achieved, take stock of the British response to date, and to plan, train and act together to build a more welcoming Britain. We will also use the time to build accountable relationships with key actors, from government ministers to UN agencies, around key issues including the protection of refugee children, development of community sponsorship, and building of strong communities.

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