VIDEO: #Loveinternational vigil brings solidarity to post-Brexit Britain

By Kerri Stevenson

Students and staff from De Montfort University gathered at the Hawthorn Building last Thursday for a 24 hour vigil to raise awareness of the current human rights issues plaguing today’s society.

The #Loveinternational vigil took place from 8am Thursday until 8am Friday and consisted of a wide range of speeches and lectures focusing on the importance of human rights from students, lecturers and other members of staff from the university.

Its main aim was to highlight the importance of Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNHR) and to discuss ways people can help to make the world a safer place to live in.

These included the Vice Chancellor’s opening speech as well as talks from the likes of Law professor Alwyn Jones, Media and Communications lecturer Dr Indrani Lahiri and Business and Management lecturer Louise Obara.

People left messages on a post-it board

Executive Director of Student and Academic Services Joanne Cooke, who hosted an hour of the event, said: “Human rights is an incredibly important issue as we all deserve equal rights to things such as education and healthcare.

“These vigils give people the time and space to think and talk about the issues that are important to them.

“We believe in free speech; this gives people the platform to talk about their experiences and share them with like-minded people.”

Throughout the event, those participating were treated to performances from the university’s gospel choir as well as hot food and beverages.

At several points during the vigil, candles were lit as a tribute to all the people affected by the issues raised, with the final candle being lit at the very end following the Vice Chancellor’s closing speech.

SU Vice President of Media and Communication, Mike Mayes, said: “I joined the vigil because I’m a huge supporter of the #Loveinternational campaign as it was launched to show solidarity with people overseas in post-brexit Britain.

Students and staff gathered to show their support to colleagues giving speeches

“The rise in hate crime in the UK and the right of the far-right in other countries such as Poland and the US is deeply concerning to me – it emphasises the need to reach out to other countries and promote a message of unity.

“We humans have so much more in common with one another to bring us together than differences to divide us and although change is needed on a global scale, these vigils really embody the spirit of togetherness we need.”



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