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Bill Esterson MP attended the Holocaust Memorial Service at Christchurch in Southport on 29 January


Mr Esterson, who is the MP for Sefton Central joined the mayor, councillors and the Chief Executive of Sefton Council at the service, which was organised by AJEX, UNISON, KGV and Runshaw Colleges with the Sefton Holocaust Memorial Committee and Sefton Council. Those addressing the service included children from St John’s school in Southport and the two colleges.

This year for the first time, the Imam at Southport mosque, Soyful Alam,also spoke at the service and voiced his fears for the future of humanity, saying that genocides including those in Syria today suggest that mankind has learned nothing from history.

Bill Esterson MP said, “Thank you to all of the organisers and to Christ Church for hosting the service. Thank you to all who gave presentations and to Michael Braham for leading the service. It is vital that we remember the Holocaust and the other genocides of the 20th and 21st century. These include Dafur, Bosnia, Rwanda and Syria.

“Imam Soyful Alam was right to warn that humanity was at great risk. He said that we are continuing to see on our TV screens and on social media genocide in Syria, while the world does nothing to help. This, he said, shames us all and he is right to say so.

Pauline Collier, who is a Fellow at the Imperial War Museum also spoke with great power and drew on her expertise in what she said.

Bill Esterson MP said, “It was clear from the reaction that those who attended agreed with the sentiments expressed by all of the sppeakers and we were all acutely aware of the actions of President Trump in banning people from travelling to the United States because of their religion.

“We heard from the students about Elie Wiesel and other victims of the Holocaust and genocides. As Elie Wiesel said, ‘We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’ And that includes someone as powerful as the US President, which is why our Prime Minister Theresa May should use our friendship with the US to challenge Mr Trump where he is wrong.

“People in Sefton must remember the Holocaust and other genocides and we must oppose hatred, racism and bigotry. We must stand alongside those facing oppression and discrimination, especially muslims from around the world who are being targeted right now by President Trump.

"There can be no neutrality and that message came loud and clear from the service in Southport on 29 January.

"I congratulate and thank all who organised and contributed to the Holocaust memorial service in Southport this year and encourage everyone to speak out against the outrages of today.”

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