A message from Rebecca Skellett, Head of Strong Cities Network

On behalf of the Strong Cities Network team, we wish to express our sincerest condolences to those whose lives were taken during the Christchurch attack and all those affected by it. This unspeakably cruel act of violence and hate is beyond comprehension and we are at loss for words. We mourn in unison with the world at this assault on life in a place of peace and worship.

In the wake of the attack, we have witnessed a great unity of sorrow and remembrance. Many of our member cities have hosted vigils, moments of silence, and prayers to honour the memory of those lost.

The immense outpouring of grief and compassion has also spurred our communities and cities to mobilise and come together in acts of solidarity. Here in London, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime were able to gather 200 faith leaders in the days following the attack to impart safety and security advice at City Hall.

As the world focuses on the atrocities that transpired in Christchurch, we must remember that this event is not isolated but sadly just one of the many forms of violent extremism we strive to prevent and protect against. It is therefore equally important to recognise and remember other cities that have suffered terror attacks in the past months. This includes but is by no means limited to Bankass (Mali), Utrecht (Netherlands), Mogadishu (Somalia), and Jolo (Philippines).

As cities, we differ in the issues we face and how we approach them. However, we remain indefatigable and indivisible in our opposition to violent extremism in all its forms. Together, we amplify the collective global voice of cities in rejecting divisive and hateful rhetoric, and in building cohesion, strength and resilience.

Faithfully yours,

Rebecca Skellett
Head of Strong Cities Network

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