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Paddy Ashdown Forum/CLD Webinar on "Covid19 and Racism"

May 21, 2020 1:21 PM

The alarming rise in hate crime towards British Chinese and other East Asian communities due to the Paddy Ashdown Forum logoCovid-19 pandemic has exposed deep seated racism in our society. Misinformation in the media and by public figures, whether deliberate or unintentional, has heightened fears and bigotry, leading to harassment, abuse and even physical attacks.

To better understand the history of the Chinese community in the UK and the root causes of Sinophobia, the Paddy Ashdown Forum and Chinese Lib Dem hosted our first joint webinar on 19 May and invited 2 prominent speakers to share their experience and insights.

Dr George Lee, an independent consultant and former Chief Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police, presented with illuminating slides how Chinese people have been perceived in popular media and treated over the centuries. He shed light on the different waves of immigration to the UK from HK and the New Territories as well as his observation of the rise in hate crime and Sinophobia in the UK and globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He stressed that the Chinese in the UK were a diverse community not necessarily pro nor anti the Chinese Communist Party and on the importance of collaboration between governments in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Linda Chung, former Camden Councillor and Chair of Camden Chinese Community Centre has considerable experience of empowering Chinese people in politics, in educating victims of crime and proposing changes in school curriculum to cover the Opium Wars and colonial history. She said Covid19 had brought out in full glory racism against a community that has traditionally been silent. The press and media has to report responsibly and not inflame the situation but had fulsome praise for the Metropolitan police who have been working with a number of communities with regards to the reporting of hate crime. She encouraged public figures and the government to play a role in denouncing racism and shared about the recent formation of the Covid-19 Anti-Racism lobby Group. Https://www.CARG.info

To watch a recording of the webinar go to http://www.thepaddyashdownforum.org/videos

Thanks to the Paddy Ashdown Forum and the European Liberal Forum for hosting and supporting the event and to Isabelle Parasram, Vice-President of the Liberal Democrats for chairing the webinar.