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Multi Faith Assembly Calling for Promotion of Integration

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On Saturday 1st October, leaders from London Citizens attended the Faith & Community Assembly organised by the Anglican Diocese of Southwark, which focussed specifically on making London Open and No Place for Hate.

The Mayor of London – Sadiq Khan, Bishop Christopher Chessun and the representatives of the major faiths, along with Citizens UK and several young people from South London Citizens member churches, schools and colleges signed a Declaration which starts with ‘we pledge our determination as Londoners to ensure that this great city shall continue to be a place of welcome, generosity and equality, with respect to all.

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Greenwich Citizens call for Community Land Trusts

Greenwich Citizens commits to signing up supporters calling for Community Land Trust (CLT) homes to be a key aspect of plans, after calling for 50% affordable housing on TfL land in February. The latest announced TfL site near Kidbrooke station will see 400 new homes built. 

CLTs are an innovative form of permanently affordable housing, linking house prices with average local incomes. The group is inviting Greenwich borough residents to join London Community Land Trust - a community-led affordable housing provider - for £1, to demonstrate local support for the scheme. 

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Lambeth Welcomes Refugee Families

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Four Syrian refugee families were formally welcomed to Lambeth last night at a celebration in St Gabriel’s College in Myatt’s Fields.

Representatives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular groups joined Lambeth mayor Saleha Jaffer, deputy council leader Paul McGlone and Donatus Anyanwu, the council’s lead member for community relations, at the welcome party.

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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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