The southern English city is in shock after the brutal attack on a German exchange student. It is not yet clear whether the act was racially motivated.
Surrounded by a French school class, the street musician in the pedestrian area of Canterbury visibly enjoys his performance. The sun is shining, many tourists have taken their seats in the sidewalk cafes of the southern English city and enjoy the good weather. There is nothing to suggest that a few days ago a German exchange student was beaten to death.
He was so badly injured that he had to be transported with a rescue helicopter about 100 kilometers to London, where he has fought for his life ever since. Only a bucket full of bouquets and recovery cards that the citizens have deposited is a crime scene indication.
"First Brexit and now that!"
"With great sympathy and regret. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Only Love" someone wrote on a card placed near the Primark branch. In addition, the supermarket staff from the other side of the street wrote a postcard to express their pity.
Canterbury is shocked after the attack on the German student: the flowers were installed at the crime scene. (Source: Christiane Link / t-online.de)
An elderly woman stops in horror in front of the flowers. "Oh my God, that was where they attacked the boy." She likes living in Canterbury, it's actually a quiet town, "she says." But how are we there as a country? "The woman complains." First Brexit and now that "Canterbury lives on tourism." We are not like that, " she says indignantly, what she likes is the suspicion that the act may be a racist attack. The victim has Lebanese roots.
Donations for travel expenses and accommodation for relatives
The sympathy in the population is also great days after the fact. In local groups on Facebook and on Twitter, people are outraged. To finance travel and housing for the victim's relatives, Paul M. Johnson, a citizen of Canterbury, launched a family donation page.
Although the initial goal was to reach 5,000 pounds, by Tuesday almost 500 donors had donated more than 7,400 pounds (about 8,300 euros). If the money is not completely necessary, it should be donated to the air rescue, which is financed in the UK exclusively through donations.
"Our city has been welcoming visitors for centuries" writes the initiator of the fundraiser in the appeal for donations. Canterbury is known throughout the world for its hospitality and the local economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the guest students who come to Canterbury to learn English. The Canterbury way of life is to be together and show support.
Increased racist crimes following the Brexit referendum
Local news portal Kent Online reports that the family thanked for popular support, as did MEP Rosie Duffield and British Interior Minister Sajid Javid. They are moved by great sympathy.
Bridget Chapman, president of the Kent anti-racist network, where Canterbury is located, helped the victim's family find a lawyer because they had problems with getting their mother's visa for the mother. "I moved from London to Kent five years ago and was partly shocked by the kind of attitudes I encountered," he says. "But I want to emphasize that this is a minority in Kent that is racist."
If the act was racially motivated, it does not want to speculate, but from the Brexit referendum, there was an increase in racist crime in Kent. The region has suffered economically in recent years and there are less and less funds everywhere. A minority is responsible for foreigners. Yet this does not represent the city of Canterbury. "In reality, Canterbury is a pilgrim city that has a long history of welcoming strangers".
. (tagsToTranslate) News (t) Panoramic (t) Crime (t) United Kingdom (t) Brexit (t) London (t) Sajid Javid