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Statement on the Westminster attack

Friday 24-03-2017 - 11:42

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of the horrific attack in Westminster, as well as their loved ones.

Among those injured are four students from Edge Hill University, and a group of students from France. As the President of NUS I would like to send them our movement's love and solidarity.

I also want to extend our solidarity to the many Muslims and migrants who at this time will be especially fearful of racism and abuse. We must stand firm against all attempts to stoke up Islamophobia or intolerance against migrants of any nationality, especially at a time of increased hate crime against many communities across society.

Similarly, we must also continue to oppose attempts to utilise such events to undermine civil liberties, extend surveillance policies such as Prevent, or to tighten border controls.

Last night thousands came together in London for a vigil. Let us take the time to remember the victims and all the victims of war and terror around the world. Let us appreciate one another and remind ourselves that the strength of our movement comes from its diversity and unity. Let us recommit ourselves to building a movement that stands firm against racism and xenophobia, is vigilant against attempts to divide us, and fights to build a more just and safer world.

In unity,

Malia Bouattia
NUS National President

 

Getting support and showing solidarity

  • Over the coming days many vigils for unity against division have been called across the country. Please try and attend if you can. Be prepared to respond to further calls if there are attempts by racists to exploit the situation.  
  • Be aware of the concerns of Muslim, migrant and racialised students in the days and weeks ahead, and if you can offer support to those experiencing fears or abuse, please do.
  • If you see someone being subject to abuse, please stand with them and intervene if you feel safe to do so. Anyone can report hate crime through this official website: http://report-it.org.uk/your_police_force. There are also many non-police platforms for reporting and getting support for incidents, including some university reporting centres and community sites, such as istreetwatch  and TMG.
  • Get in touch with your students' union for further suggestions, advice and support.
  • Find out more about NUS’ work on hate crime and how you can get involved: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/campaigns/noplaceforhate
  • If you are worried about increased surveillance or racial profiling you can also use contact us via the Students Not Suspects help line: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/campaigns/preventing-prevent-we-are-students-not-suspects/prevent-helpline-free-confidential-advice

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