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Citizens UK Response to the vote on Air Strikes in Syria

Zrinka Bralo, Citizens UK spokesperson said: “We believe that a consequence of increased air strikes in Syria, which the UK will now be directly involved with, could be a further increase in the number of civilians forced to flee their homes. We recognise the huge financial contribution committed by the government to provide aid in the region, but we know from the experts working in the refugee camps that there are hundreds of thousands of innocent people in desperate need of resettlement.

“We call on the government to increase the number of refugees the UK will resettle from 20,000 to 50,000 over the next five years via the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. These are families with severely ill children, victims of torture and sexual abuse. Even if they wanted to, they are unable to make the perilous journey to the safety of Europe on their own. Last winter children died avoidable deaths in refugee camps because of freezing temperatures; the need to act is urgent.

“As the Prime Minister commits the UK to military action we ask that he also recognises our obligation to help Syrian families whose lives have been ripped apart by the regime, by Da’esh and now by the impact of increased air strikes. We have a proud tradition of offering sanctuary to those in need, and communities across the UK are ready and willing to welcome Syrian refugees into their neighbourhoods.”

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Alyth Synagogue Hosts First National Refugees Welcome Convention- 70 years after they opened as a resettlement centre

 

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Alyth Synagogue hosted 50 Jewish, Muslim, Christian and non faith community leaders from around the country for a two day refugees welcome training on the 28th and 29th of November. This launched the national refugee welcome movement organising efforts as well as marking 70 years since the synagogue acted as a resettlement hub for Jewish communities fleeing persecution. 

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CitizensUK Response to Autumn Statement & Spending Review

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Neil Jameson, Executive Director, Citizens UK said:

"We welcome the announcement from the Chancellor today that cuts to tax credits are to be scrapped, this is a positive outcome for hard working families across the UK.

"This, combined with an increase to the national minimum wage for over 25s, supports our belief that work should be the surest way out poverty. We continue to champion the UK and the London Living Wage; independently calculated pay rates based on the real cost of living, and encourage businesses that can, to pay the Living Wage, going above and beyond the statutory minimums and rewarding workers of all ages."

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244 South London Citizens delegates launch London Housing Campaign for London Mayoral Elections

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On Wednesday 18th November, over 240 civil society leaders from across South London Citizens gathered to launch a Housing campaign, calling on the next Mayor of London to support and implement a London Living Rent, Rogue Landlord Taskforce and Good Homes Charter. These solutions were identified after a listening campaign reaching thousands of Londoners through member institutions. 

The chapter agreed to bring 2240 people to the Mayoral Accountability Assembly on Thursday 28th April 2016 at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to ask the next Mayor of London for commitments on this asks. There was also commitment to translate this vision through local actions including community walks, and meetings with local decision-makers regarding specific development sites.

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TELCO Delegates Assembly - Housing Crisis: Taking back ownership of London

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TELCO Delegates assembly on 17th November saw 250 people from across 70 institutions in 5 East London boroughs come together to ratify an ambitious housing agenda for the Mayoral Election. 

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Redbridge Citizens leads CLT action on Council

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Thursday 19th November saw 83 leaders from 3 organisations leading an action on Redbridge Council. Having waited for 40, John Clifton of the Salvation Army was able to ask the Leader of the Council Jas Athwal whether he would support the Fairness Commission Recommendation to build 2 Community Land Trusts (CLT) in the Borough. This was followed by all the leaders standing with their #2CLT posters and TELCO banners.

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CitizensUK Peace Vigil for Paris

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On Sunday 15 November CitizensUK leaders gathered outside London's City Hall for an inter-faith vigil demonstrating solidarity with Paris. Christian, Jewish & Muslim representatives came together as one community to light candles in honour of those who lost their lives and show support with the people of France. 

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Birmingham’s Civil Society & Elected leaders join Special Vigil for victims of Paris & Beirut Attacks

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On Sunday 15th November, over 200 people from Birmingham gathered for a special vigil to remember those that had lost their lives in attacks in Paris, Beirut, Syria, Egypt and others parts of the world. Leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh community came to speak at the event to represent Birmingham as a “city of the world”.

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Brent Action Group Working to Support Refugees

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Leaders in Brent came together to establish a #RefugeesWelcome support group, expressing solidarity and support with the refugees fleeing violence and unrest in Syria and other war-torn countries.

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Leeds Citizens Call for Living Wage

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Leeds Citizens held several actions during Living Wage Week to celebrate the achievements of Living Wage Employers and encourage others to pay the voluntary rate. Events included:

- Actions at 2 Lidl stores on Sunday 1st November, congratulating the store for its October pay rise and encouraging them to become accredited as Living Wage Employers.

- The Living Wage rate announcement was made on Monday 2nd Nov in Leeds City Centre, featuring helium balloons and leaders delivering letters to local law firms. 

- Wednesday 4th November saw the Living Wage Action team agree to focus their campaign on Leeds City Centre Employers, and seek a relationship with the new Leeds Business Improvement District (BID).

- A Living Wage Tea Celebration was held on Thursday 5th November, hosted by 2 employers with beautiful Living Wage cakes, filming of a video from another Living Wage employer and lots of tea. 

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