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‘Everyone is welcome here’ - Tower block residents hit back at ‘Happy Brexit Day’ poster

PUBLISHED: 12:12 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:21 03 February 2020

New posters have been put up in Winchester Tower in Norwich. Picture: David Hannant

New posters have been put up in Winchester Tower in Norwich. Picture: David Hannant

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People living in a city tower block are hitting back at a racist poster put up on Brexit Day - with fliers of their own filled with messages of support and tolerance.

On Friday, a controversial poster labelled 'Happy Brexit Day' was put up in Winchester Tower in Norwich which ordered people to speak English or move out of the council block.

The poster was quickly removed but a photograph of it has been widely shared on social media, prompting furious reactions.

Now though, people living in the block itself have hit back - with several new posters and petitions replacing the controversial one on notice boards and pillars inside the 95-home tower.

One reads: "Everyone is welcome here - except bigots" and has several signatures underneath.

MORE: This is OUR Norwich: Nine things that truly represent our fine city

Another in a similar vein is addressed "To our European friends" and also contains several signatures of support.

It comes after police confirmed the incident is being treated as a racially aggravated public order office.

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: "Officers attended Winchester Tower last night and all posters had been removed. Those posters kept by residents have since been seized for forensic enquiries and we will be working with the council to examine any available CCTV.

"There is no place in society for hatred and intolerance. Nobody should have to face intimidation because of who they are and it is more important than ever that we stand together in the face of hostility. We remain committed to helping people feel safe and secure as they go about their lives.

"The matter is being dealt with as a racially aggravated public order incident and anyone with information which could help officers with enquiries should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference 36/7964/20."

And after replacement posters were put up, people living in the tower have also spoken of their dismay at the incident.

A 67-year-old resident of the flat who did not wish to be named, said: "When I saw the first poster I was absolutely disgusted. We live in a tower block and for that reason are already looked down upon - this has just made that worse.

"I love living here and I am proud to live here - ordinarily it is a peaceful and lovely place. However, whoever this coward is, they have given everyone else here a bad name."

Harry Lippett, 62, who also lives in the tower, said: "I was actually first alerted to the photo by somebody in New Zealand who had seen it on social media and I think it is a disgrace.

"I love living in Norwich because the city is widely liberally-minded and tolerant and the views of one person does not change that. However, clearly this isn't helping anybody."

A police officer attended the tower this morning, discussing the incident with the caretaker before conducting searches through the property's bins.

However, with the investigations still ongoing, the officer was unable to provide an official comment on the case.

Meanwhile, the Norwich branch of Stand Up To Racism, is due to hold a demonstration at the Vauxhall Centre at 2pm this afternoon in response to the controversial poster.

MORE: 'This in no way represents our city' - Shock and anger at 'Happy Brexit Day' poster


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