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Croeso Penarth approved to sponsor a Syrian refugee family… at last!

By Lesley Cox, Croeso Penarth

In June 2017 we enthusiastically began our Community Sponsorship journey, never guessing that more than a year later we still would not have welcomed a refugee family to our town.

In April 2017, a small group of interested individuals met together following a Citizens Cymru Wales event where the Community Sponsorship scheme was described. After talking through the requirements, we unanimously agreed that we wanted to go for it! In June we held our first public meeting and this view was supported by all present, and shared by many in the town in the following months. Croeso Penarth has the active support of all the churches, people of most political persuasions and of many individuals  who  strongly believe that this is something positive that Penarth can do to help one family in need at this time. We love living in Penarth and want to offer a family who has experienced the horror of war and the loss of their home, the opportunity to come and settle in our town. We also have a number of people who have offered time and expertise to help them settle here and to learn the language.

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Police Chiefs decision on making Misogyny a hate crime: our response

Charlotte Fischer, Senior Organiser at Citizens UK, which is campaigning to make misogyny a hate crime said:
“We’re very disappointed to learn that the Police Chief’s council has decided against recognising misogyny as a hate crime at this time. We understand they want more time to review the evidence but feel they have missed an opportunity to offer women further protection from deplorable hate and abuse. Citizens UK will continue to call for the police to adopt misogyny as a hate crime both locally and nationally; it’s vital we take this step to shift unacceptable behaviour and allow women to live their lives without fear."

"Whilst Police Chiefs review the evidence, our members will be talking to local forces who are still able to adopt misogyny as a hate crime in their constabularies. Now, more than ever, we encourage members of the public to write to and encourage your local Police Commissioners and Chiefs to support this move." 

"It’s 2018 - it’s time to tackle the abuse, harassment and problematic behaviour that many women are subjected to. Misogyny and misogynists have no place in society and we are continuing our campaign. We invite anyone who wants to join us to sign up here: http://www.citizensuk.org/hate_misogyny"

 

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Citizens UK at the 2018 Greenbelt Festival: Acts of the Imagination!

Citizens UK is taking part in the 2018 Greenbelt Festival: Acts of the Imagination! Greenbelt is a vibrant arts festival which takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 August). It's organised by Christians with an emphasis on social justice and inclusion. See www.greenbelt.org.uk for lots more information on the festival and the programme for the weekend.

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A reflection on Citizens UK national community organising training

Rev Carole Challis, Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit

FREE.

This was the word shared by a young boy as his feeling in the first rounds of evaluation after a Citizens UK action in Lewisham in south London. This was an action to present a card to the Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to ask her to vote in favour of misogyny being recorded as a hate crime. The action was timed to precede the meeting of the National Police Chiefs' Council the following week.

In the second round the organiser asked him to say more. His response: “ I am not a girl, but if these girls feel more free I feel more free. Like a weight is lifted off my shoulders”.

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Citizens Cymru Wales June 2018 newsletter

As Co-chairs of Citizens Cymru Wales, we are very excited to introduce the first of many newsletters aimed at keeping you right up-to-date with the actions, challenges and successes of our Citizens Chapter.  Since our founding assembly in October of 2014 our alliance of civil society institutions, including churches, mosques, trade unions, schools, colleges and community organisations, has gone from strength to strength.  As a chapter of Citizens UK we have been busy ‘reweaving the fabric of society’, using community organising approaches to build relationships, challenge injustice and hold the powerful to account.

These newsletters will give you a flavour of the breadth and diversity of issues we are seeking to tackle together, including low pay, refugee resettlement, and community safety.  They will also provide a chance to find out more about the people who make up our institutions, folk who represent many of Wales’ diverse ethnic, religious and geographical communities who are building friendships, finding things in common and supporting each other to make change.

We intend to distribute further newsletters in July, September and November this year, and on into next year.  Please keep an eye out for them.  Use them to learn about the issues that are impacting on our communities and to keep up to speed with Citizens Cymru Wales actions.  We hope they may challenge you, with your institutions, to join us in acting for social justice and the common good.

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Media Reaction: Misogyny Hate Crime Campaign

Citizens UK launched a national campaign this week calling for misogyny to be recognised as a hate crime by police forces across the country. Our campaign received positive support and widespread national news coverage. Here are just some of the highlights.

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Police Chiefs asked to make misogyny a hate crime nationwide ahead of key vote

Gender equality campaigners have been joined by some of the Jewish and Muslim leaders, anti-hate charities, student union representatives and community groups who make up Citizens UK in delivering a joint call aimed at 46 Police Chiefs of England and Wales as they hold a key vote on whether misogynistic abuse and harassment of women will be made part of national hate crime reporting

New research from a 2-year study by Nottingham Women’s Centre found nearly half of women in the city had experienced unwanted sexual advances (48.9%), groping (46.2%) and over a quarter experienced indecent exposure (25.9%) [1]

Co-sign the letter at citizensuk.org/hate_misogyny

 

 

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Citizens UK launches campaign for Home Office to extend successful refugee VPRS resettlement scheme beyond 2020

  • Citizens UK launches campaign for Home Office to extend successful refugee VPRS resettlement scheme beyond 2020 as decision on its future is pending
  • 200 civil society leaders joined by Council leaders to back the campaign to #ExtendTheWelcome across the UK

Community organising charity Citizens UK today launched a campaign urging the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to extend the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) in the UK. 200 civil society leaders from mosques, churches, schools and other organisations from across the UK joined together at the campaign launch in London to celebrate the success of the scheme so far and urge the Home Office to #ExtendtheWelcome.

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Our 10 May accountability assembly

What sort of Nottingham do we want to create? That was the question on the lips of hundreds of people passionate about Nottingham's future as they gathered with community and civic leaders at the city's Albert Hall for an assembly to propose action to help improve the lives, security and prosperity of citizens and celebrate the achievements of the Nottingham Citizens alliance and its partners so far.

Read the assembly programme to find out more about the commitments we were seeking from local authority leaders and other decision-makers on the night.

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Students make their voices count at Waltham Forest Accountability Assembly

Students from Leyton Sixth Form College played a vital part in making Waltham Forest's Assembly prior to the Local Elections in May 2018 a success. They have put together a video that illustrates their contribution to the Assembly, as well as their development into confident young leaders who are actively engaged in public life.

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