The recent attacks in Christchurch on the Linwood and Al Noor Mosques remind us again of the devastating effects that white supremacy and emboldened white nationalist sentiment are having on minority communities the world over. We at the Winchester Multicultural Network mourn for those who attended Friday prayer worship and our thoughts go out to Muslim communities in New Zealand, and right here in New England, who are experiencing the grief, fear, and alienation caused by reverberations of hate.

This attack, the shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg, the assaults and rising antisemitism and islamophobia accompanying the Yellow Vest protests in Paris, and the ongoing rising alt right rhetoric and organizing in the US such as we witnessed in Charlottesville, are all indicative of a global assault on difference.

Today across the world violence and hate are fueling an attack on our separate and collective identities as human beings. When we talk about intersectionality we are talking not about difference but solidarity; how our identities are interconnected, and how we can’t—and should not—uncouple our race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or abilities. However, historic injustices and systemic marginalization have resulted in these very identities creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination and disadvantage; victims of hate crimes are often reduced to one to two aspects of their complex identity makeup.

We at the Network aspire to build a shared vision of an equitable and inclusive community here in Winchester, and we are committed to our role as allies, and to advancing constructive conversations across difference. We stand now with our Muslim community, in solidarity and support.

Yours in peace,

Liora Norwich
Executive Director, Winchester Multicultural Network

Vigil to honor and remember the victims in New Zealand

Saturday March 16 at 4 pm: the Greater North Communities will hold a vigil at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main Street, in Melrose.