‘It does not represent our city’ - Norwich community leaders slam racist Brexit day sign

PUBLISHED: 11:44 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:44 03 February 2020

A host of heart-shaped messages have been stuck up outside Winchester Tower Picture: David Hannant/EDP.

A host of heart-shaped messages have been stuck up outside Winchester Tower Picture: David Hannant/EDP.

Archant

Community leaders in Norwich have fought back after the city was tarnished by a ‘Happy Brexit Day’ sign that was posted in a block of flats and then subsequently photographed for social media.

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Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/EDP.Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/EDP.

On the day the United Kingdom left the European Union anonymous posters were put up in a council-owned tower block of flats ordering tenants to either speak English or move out.

After photographs of the posters appeared on social media community leaders were quick to send a clear message that the city will not stand for prejudice of any kind.

Fresh posters were placed in the tower blocks in support of European tenants while a rally was held outside the block to make it clear they were welcome in Norwich.

After the news emerged of the original posters a police hate crime probe was launched by Norfolk Police.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk's chief constable, told the Eastern Daily Press: "There is no place in society for hatred and intolerance.

"Nobody should have to face intimidation because of who they are and it is more important than ever that we stand together in the face of hostility. We remain committed to helping people feel safe and secure as they go about their lives."

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, said: "Let's call this what it is: a hate crime. Those of us who live in Norwich know such
sentiment here is thankfully rare. Norwich is an overwhelmingly supportive, tolerant and welcoming city and one we are rightly proud of. However, we cannot and will not take that situation for granted."

MORE: Police investigate racist sign calling for people to speak English or leave following Brexit Day

Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/EDP.Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/EDP.

The Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham Usher said: "I found the wording on the poster appalling and contrary to my experience of the city of Norwich as a place of welcome and care.

"Our national history is also one where people who have been persecuted and driven from their homes as refugees can make their home."

He added: "Britain will only be 'Great' if it continues to show the values of tolerance, understanding and generosity to those who become our neighbours."

A fellow Winchester Tower resident criticised the person behind the posters.

They told the EDP: "Living in a tower block we get looked down upon as it is, but the coward who put the poster up has just made matters worse. We love to live here and we are proud to live here, but this person's actions make me so ashamed. They do not speak for me."

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