Hilly Fields picnic tomorrow

The Dove of Peace brings cocktail sausages
This event has been quickly organised as a response to the vote to Leave the EU and the anxiety it has provoked about rising hostility to immigrants.

One of the saddest consequences of the Brexit vote was the effect it had on EU citizens who have chosen to make the UK their home. 

My Spanish housemate suddenly worries whether the people she serves in a local pub want her gone. A European couple on the train this morning were wondering whether they would need to leave the country. And a smashed window at Donde in Honor Oak almost broke the local internet with speculation that it must have been a hate crime. It may have been. Or it may have been something else. We should avoid hysteria and guard against confirmation bias.

There were lots of reasons why people voted to Leave a European superstate. Immigration is a complex issue and those who worry about it are not simply racist. The result has not validated xenophobia, nor will it necessarily lead to a rise.

So this event, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme should be a reminder that this is a strong community, largely at ease with itself (and one that was produced one of the top 20 majorities in favour of remain), rather than a shelter against the darkness. Plus, a picnic is always fun, even if God has sent heavy rains to punish us for our hubris. 

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