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Students Visit Mayoral Assembly in Westminster

A group from Southall Community College attended the Mayoral Assembly, hosted by Citizens UK, at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster last month. The group, comprising 35 adult students, 10 young students, and 5 teachers, eagerly anticipated experiencing democracy in action and engaging with social justice issues.

The event, attended by approximately 2,300 Citizens UK members, featured a grand entrance through an ornate marble staircase leading to the gallery, where the WLC group had a perfect view of the proceedings. The assembly was chaired by a Jewish Rabbi and a Muslim Cleric, who warmly greeted everyone with “Shalom” and “As-Salamu Alaykum.” This inclusive atmosphere set the tone for a vibrant, community-focused event.

Although the Conservative Mayoral candidate was unable to attend, Sadiq Khan, seeking his third term, answered the audience’s questions. His responses to the Citizens UK speakers were met with enthusiasm, particularly when he promised to exceed their expectations on one issue.

Taylor, an adult student, said: “It was a really good opportunity for people interested in democracy and social justice. It let me see the impact of our voices and made me realize the importance of civic engagement. I’d definitely encourage anyone to participate in such events.”

Throughout the assembly, diverse community groups performed dances, gave speeches, and sang songs, all carrying political messages. The performances, complemented by a backdrop of videos, images, and subtitles, created a lively and informative atmosphere. Paula, a younger student, shared her experience: “Being part of the event was incredibly fun and educational. The performances were beautiful, and the messages were powerful.”

Key issues discussed included homelessness, affordable housing, the London Living Wage, child poverty, the NHS, council housing maintenance, asylum seeker rights, and immigration. Sadiq Khan’s statement on the Rwandan immigration issue (“It is cruel”) resonated deeply, prompting an outpouring of applause and agreement from the audience.

ESOL teacher, David Jackson, said: “We all had a truly wonderful and memorable time and for many of our students, this was their first time to experience British democracy in action and to understand more about British values. I would like to say thank you to Alex and Hilal for organising it for us to go along.”

This visit allowed our students to witness the power of collective action and the impact of public discourse on political decision-making.

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM
COLLEGE
HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM COLLEGE
HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM COLLEGE
Gliddon Road
Barons Court
London W14 9BL

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EALING GREEN COLLEGE
EALING GREEN COLLEGE
EALING GREEN COLLEGE
The Green
Ealing
London W5 5EW

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020 7565 1200
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY
COLLEGE
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Beaconsfield Road
Southall
London UB1 1DP

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020 7565 1200
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