As you will know (unless you’ve been living under a rock), it was recently the EU Referendum in the UK. The majority of the UK voted to leave, which is something that I strongly oppose. I voted remain, and I’m proud to say that so did the majority of my city – Norwich is the one single “remain” city in amongst a sea of “leave” cities. The same thing happened after the general election: Norwich voted Labour, whilst pretty much every other Eastern city voted Conservatives. It can be easy to feel despondent about the results of these votes, particularly when your city is surrounded by people with opposing views. But last Thursday, Norwich got together in a rally entitled “Norwich Stays”, and suddenly I was surrounded by people who all shared the same opinion as me.
The Norwich Stays rally was organised by organised on Facebook by 20-year-old UEA student Emily Cutler and her friend Tom Johnston. Over 1,000 people attended, and there were speakers including: city council leader Alan Waters, Jon Clemo, chief executive at Community Action Norfolk, and Claudina Richards, a senior lecturer of law at UEA. I went along not only to show my support, but also take some photographs. Below are the images I got.
Taken with the Lomography 85mm Petzval lens:
Taken with Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM:
The morning after the rally, we woke up to the news that a Romanian grocery store in Anglia Square had been petrol bombed in the night. This was the complete opposite of the messages of inclusion and community that we had tried to convey during the rally the evening before, and immediately the people of Norwich sprang to action. At the time of writing this piece, an online fundraiser for the shop has raised 5,759% of its original target of £500: £28,799. On the day, many people went along to the shop to help clean up. And on Saturday, a ‘love bombing’ rally took place to show support to the owners with hundreds of paper hearts being pinned to the boarded-up windows, with messages of love and solidarity.
If you want to donate to help the owners of the shop get back on their feet, the fundraiser can be found here: [click]
All images copyright Sophie Elliott 2016.
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