Many thanks to all who turned out to support our silent vigil “Respect, Equality, Goodwill to All” on Saturday. As you know, this was called by Swansea Quakers and the Swansea City of Sanctuary Steering Group to demonstrate that Swansea is a welcoming city where we celebrate the part played by everyone, including those of all religions and none. We had over 40 people standing in silence on the lawn outside the Quaker Meeting House,from 4.00 to 5.00. There were also a similar number on the street who clearly saw themselves as part of the demonstration. An impressive quiet dignity was maintained for the full hour.
We were also pleased to hear about the success of the “Unite against Fascism” demonstration,which in the event ran continously from 1.00 to past 5.00 in Castle Square,with at least 300 people taking part. The so-called “Welsh Defence League”, reportedly mostly from outside Wales, were outnumbered almost ten to one and effectively confined by the police to one corner of the square.
We hope that our silent vigil successfully served its purpose of adding to the sense of solidarity and community among the people of Swansea, complementing the “Unity against Fascism” demonstration, and offering an alternative, quiet way for people to make clear their views.. As it turned out, there was no initimating behaviour nearby, but we hope that our presence in St Helens Road, near the mosque, also provided a visible symbol of community support for freedom of religion and for Swansea’s Muslim community as a welcome part of our vibrant city.
Photos by Martin Willson