National celebration of migrants coincides with Article 50 debate

By Lucy Billington-Groom

Leicester hosted a vigil on February 20 as part of the 1 Day Without Us movement organised by migrants and UK nationals to celebrate the contribution of migrants in the UK.

16833669_1354203724645594_232479571_oThe nationwide celebration saw over 130 events being held across the UK with many organisations sharing before and after images of their workforce with and without migrants present.

Kicking off the event, Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby took to the stage with a passionate speech.

“The people who have chosen to make their homes in our city are what makes the city great,” he said.

Addressing the growing crowd, he continued: “We as a city have done tremendous amounts to make them feel that we want them here, we want to make them at home here, we want to make them safe here, and we want them to make their future here.”

In closing, Mayor Soulsby added: “It’s not a question of could we do one day without you, we can’t do an hour without you.”

In attendance was first year De Montfort University international student Fady Ayoub, who said: “It’s great to see so many people making an effort and taking a stand against all the hostility we’ve seen after recent events.”

He added: “It’s very important that migrants see how valued they are and that they’re welcome here. It’s also important that everyone sees the true worth of migrants in the UK.

“Leicester has been so welcoming and I’m proud that I chose to study here.

“It’s heart-warming to see the amount of love in Leicester and across the country for migrants in a time where hate seems to be everywhere.”

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