The Village Shop, an Eastern European food store in Norwich, was set on fire in a suspected arson attack on July 7 while people were asleep in an upstairs flat, networknorwich.co.uk informs.
The Rt Rev Graham James said: “While we do not yet know what motivated this arson attack, it is part of a disturbing pattern of similar events across the country where various ethnic minorities seem to have been targeted. It is shocking and deeply depressing that such violent and hostile attitudes are being given such expression in the wake of the EU referendum. I hope everyone in this fine city will unite both in condemning this attack and also building bridges with their neighbours wherever they come from.”
And the response has been immediate after well-wishers raised more than GBP 25,000 in online donations.
A support rally was organised on Saturday by the Norwich People’s Assembly, with over 100 people attending.
Jan McLachlan, secretary of the Norwich People’s Assembly said that ‘it’s important to stay united to show people from the immigrants’ community in Norwich that they are welcome here.’
23-year-old Andreea Abraham, the daughter of the food store’s store, said she had been overwhelmed to see the community’s support.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) said in a release: “MAE condemns any form of extremist or discriminatory manifestation against Romanian citizens. MAE has in its focus this isolated incident, which could be considered as being discriminatory. Through the Romanian embassy in London, MAE has requested the British authorities to clarify the situation and to prevent any intensification of tensions or hostile deeds against Romanian citizens in the UK.”