As the RISE Festival takes place this weekend (Saturday 8th July), marking the end of London United Week (1st - 8th July 2006), London's Green MEP Jean Lambert has spoken of the urgent need to establish equality throughout the UK and bring an end to racism.
Jean, who is the Vice-President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Anti-racism and Diversity, today said that the recent rise in racist sentiments and violence in the UK was particularly worrying. She commented; "Sadly racism is still a part of everyday life affecting so many people in different ways. It is vital that we develop a climate in which this kind of intolerance and violence is rejected outright. Festivals such as RISE and the events throughout London United Week offer the chance for everyone to get involved, support the anti-racism message and take us a step closer to an equal society.
"The UK and the rest of the EU must face up to its own prejudices before we can really make a difference. Member States that do not uphold laws against racism should be named and blamed and stringent action should be taken against them. Politicians who seek to stoke homophobic or racial hatred are gravely irresponsible and should have no place in politics. However we must also confront the media and institutions where these prejudices are promoted.
"Violence is only one aspect of racism. The daily violation of people's dignity is much broader but by ending the violence there will be a chance for a peaceful coexistence in a common society. The last week has seen some excellent events celebrating the capitals diversity as well as opposing racism and I hope this will continue long into the future."
The festival, 'Rise: Make A Stand Against Racism', is taking place in Finsbury
Park on Saturday 8th July and gives us all an opportunity to rise to the challenge
For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.