News / Society

Peace picnic takes place in Knowle West

By Martin Booth , Monday Aug 1, 2016

Hate was countered by hummus in Knowle West as the community came together for a picnic organised in response to recent racist attacks in the area.

On the freshly mown grass of Filwood Broadway Park, some 20 people including local residents, councillors and a couple of police officers shared sandwiches and mugs of tea.

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Four houses on Bideford Crescent have had bricks thrown through their windows and two have had obscene racist graffiti scrawled across the front in the last six weeks

As the sound of an evangelical church service drifted across the breeze from nearby Filwood Community Centre, the picnic offered the chance for friends and strangers to stand together, sharing stories as well as sun cream.

Rugs were laid out on the floor and food laid out on a trestle table on which a book had been placed for those attending to write their thoughts.

“This is a community response to the increasing hate crimes that have been happening,” said co-organiser Jaya Chakrabarti.

“This is a mile from where I live. It’s a Bristol response. A response of love.”

Chakrabarti, an entrepreneur who in 2014 was awarded an MBE for services to the creative digital industries and the community in Bristol, added: “I grew up with this. I grew up with a lock on my letter box for fear of letter bombs.

“I know how those families are feeling.

“The people that did this will only win if the majority stays silent.”

Some 20 people joined the peace picnic

 

Read more: One street, four ‘vile’ racist attacks

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