After the Mayoral assembly on 25th April, the competition for the four candidates almost came to the end, not surprisingly, Boris Johnson (the candidate of Conservative party) won on 3rd May. He has the opportunity to prove that he will keep his words to work with Citizens on the five agenda in the coming four years (please see http://www.citizensuk.org/campaigns/london-mayoral-election-2012/ ) that he promised in front of 2,500 people, 230 institutions on the assembly.
From housing to safety, from a just wage to a brighter future for young people, those challenging and growing issues become more and more severe for all the Londoners during recession (especially for migrants!). The end of the election is just the beginning for the coming action for all citizens. The coming Olympics in August will not only bring million tourists to this historical city which is already notorious enough for its traffic, but also increase the load massively for the limited police force which had been proved insufficient in the riot last summer. Celebrating for the game, expecting it could bring London significant profit, but still simultaneously worry for its side effect.
As the Olympics Game is pending, London Citizens and member institutions raise a new action called “100 days of peace,” which base on the story in 776 BC in Olympia in ancient Greece where 50 days before the game and 50 days after, the communities and city-state will agree to a truce to let athletes travel safely. Under the City safe campaign which London Citizens initiative working with schools, shops and churches to make our neighborhood safer and connected, we are going to launch the new “modern 100 days of peace ” on June the 9th to reclaim our street.
Safety has been an important issue for many areas in London for years, especially in last August, the riot which started in Tottenham and spread to other areas in days. City safe is working to rebuild the community – police relationship also the awareness in local community that the only way to make our street safer is to act.
(the origin of city safe campaign please see http://www.citizensuk.org/campaigns/citysafe-campaign/ )
Safety is also the prior issue for Chinese community in South London, many members of Chinese communities feel unsafe. The Deptford Chinese and South London Citizens team has been listening to the Chinese community in Deptford before and after the riot. We found that many have been attacked repeatedly, especially in Deptford. Chinese families who live in Deptford have been persistently targeted in robberies and burglaries in broad daylight at gun and knife point, many have been physically attacked suffering brutal injuries. For most of the Chinese in south London, safety is always their main concern. There are a few who would bravely try and report the crime but are left helpless and deterred from reporting; they remain targeted by criminals due to their vulnerability.
Last year, On 26th July, the Chinese communities in Deptford decide to break their silence. Under the banner of “one community, one voice” to stop crime, over 80 people including children came together to reclaim their streets.
After almost one year working with the local police, the diaspora community has built a relationship that has helped the police to understand where the Chinese community coming from and how to work with the community. In April, we build an organized team of leaders that would act as the bridge not only to support the local police to reach the community, but also be equipped with the ability to provide basic suggestions to the community which will incorporate the reporting of crime, home safety, victim support, etc. by joining the neighborhood watch team training.