Thousands to march in celebration of diversity and solidarity after London Bridge terror attack

Thousands of people will march to celebrate diversity and solidarity after the London Bridge terror attack.

Unity Day was first set up last year in the wake of a surge in hate crime following the Brexit vote. More than 10,000 people took part in a march and festival in west London.

The event is back this year to again celebrate the diversity and to take a stand against racism. But the organisers say that the event on Sunday will take on a greater significance following the recent terrorist atrocities in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester.

The leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, Stephen Cowan, who is leading the march, said as a result he hoped even more people would take part in defiance of “terror attacks trying to turn people against each other.”

Thousands take part in the March Against Racism earlier this year

He said: “We want it to be a showing of the unity of not just our borough but all of London, and the event will take on an added poignancy because of it’s proximity to the London Bridge attack.

“We want to give people the opportunity to show as a society we are united in all our diversity. We can beat the terrorists by showing solidarity.

“Last year focussed on beating the right wing bigots trying to divide us and this year we will be united against deluded individuals bringing terror to our city.”

Vigil for London Bridge terror attack

Jabbar Hasan, the director of national charity, the Iraqi Association, which is based in White City, is also taking part in the event and called for people of all races and faiths to turn out “to show defiance.”

He said: “We want to show we are all united, regardless of culture, religion and ethnicity against these acts of terror against humanity which are abhorred by everyone.

“We are all part of London and a community which is so strong which cannot be beaten, Beyond our religions and our beliefs we are all citizens of our planet.”

Minute’s silence on London Bridge for attack victims

Marchers will gather in Shepherds Bush Green on Sunday at 11am before progressing down Goldhawk Road, through Hammersmith and into Ravenscourt Park where entertainers from around the world will perform for the crowds until 4.30pm. There will also be speeches from community groups.

Among those speaking will be Lord Dubs, who campaigned for unaccompanied child refugees to be allowed into the UK from Europe. There will also be the chance for people to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the London Bridge attack. There are plans for a minute’s silence.

The event is the finale of the borough’s annual HF ArtsFest. More than 200 events will have taken place from Friday 2 June until Sunday 11 June.

The festival organiser Petrea Owens said: “We want this final event to be a chance for people to celebrate their cultures and also have fun together, with a message we are united in the face of terror. A strong community is the basis of everything.”

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