Finsbury Park residents Freya Van Lessen and Mike Barnard want the Mayor to rethink his decision, and are calling for supporters to back their campaign by signing an online petition and joining a group on Facebook called “UpRise: Save Rise Festival”. The campaign group intend to present the Mayor with the petition at his office in a bid to save the festival and reinstate the anti-racism message the Mayor removed when he came to office last year, and are hoping performers, local businesses and community leaders will join the campaign.
Campaign organiser Freya said: “Boris Johnson claims the cancellation is due to a lack of sponsorship; it’s widely accepted he would have had that sponsorship if he had not removed the anti-racism message at the heart of Rise Festival and essentially the essence of what made it such a popular cross-cultural event. As our nation’s capital, London should be setting an example to the rest of the country, showing how people of all ethnicities and backgrounds live together.
“We want to make Boris aware of the mistake he has made and hope he will listen to the people he is supposed to serve rather than plough on with his own agenda which does not seem to be in the best interests of those who voted for him. Our message is: bring back Rise Festival and reinstate its anti-racism message.”
Campaign spokesperson Mike Barnard said: “The cancellation of Rise Festival is a travesty and removes an important multi-cultural event, which celebrated the contributions of different communities to the capital and promotes excellent community relations while also giving us the opportunity to see leading musical performers for free.
“UpRise intends to prove Boris Johnson cannot just dismiss such an important cultural event on London’s calendar so easily. We want this unique event back!”
Sign the Save Rise Festival petition today: www.gopetition.co.uk/petitions/save-rise-festival.html