MP Barclay and MEPs pledge support for campaign against planned Wisbech anti-immigration protest

MP Steve Barclay

MP Steve Barclay - Credit: Archant

MP STEVE Barclay, two MEPs and councillors from across the political spectrum have pledged their support for the We Are Wisbech community campaign.

We are Wisbech was set up following a meeting called to unite the community in the face of an anti-immigration protest being held in the town next month.

The group has no plans for a counter demonstration but instead is backing the annual International Children’s Day 1,000 balloons race event and barbecue that’s going ahead at Wisbech’s Rosmini Community Centre on May 18, the same day as the protest.

The group’s chairman Dean Reeves, branch secretary of Wisbech Labour Party, said: “We are Wisbech opposes racism, not peaceful protest.

“The nature of the proposed protest, and where it is taking place, is personal to those groups it is criticising. It is not challenging law makers.

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“If you want to change laws then protest outside parliament. To stand outside someone’s home and tell them they are not welcome is just spiteful.”

Mr Barclay, MP for NE Cambs, said: “The We are Wisbech campaign is an example of how people are coming together to take a stand against groups that may risk dividing our local community.

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“By celebrating International Children’s Day on May 18, the campaign recognizes that bringing children and families together is key to fostering co-operation and understanding amongst future generations.”

Labour East of England MEP Richard Howitt and Conservative East of England MEP Vicky Ford also have signed up to the campaign’s mission statement.

Mr Howitt said: “I am proud to endorse the good work being undertaken by “We are Wisbech” in making a stand against racism.”

Ms Ford said: “Well done for standing up for the people of Wisbech.”

Wisbech councillors supporting the campaign include Steve Tierney, Samantha Hoy, Simon King, Virginia and Mike Bucknor, David Patrick, Gavin Booth and Reg Mee, along with trade unionists, many long-term Wisbech residents and newer arrivals.

The committee headed by Mr Reeves includes Rosmini Centre manager Anita Grodkiewicz, Cllr King and Martin Field, chairman of Wisbech, March and District Trades Union Council.

• Sign up to support the campaign by e-mailing or join the debate on the We are Wisbech Facebook page.

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