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Jun 17th, 2016

Jo Cox

By Megan Bentall

“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.

Jo Cox’s first speech as an MP

Jo Cox, a Yorkshire MP, a campaigner, a mum, was murdered yesterday afternoon whilst doing her job. This kind of thing isn’t meant to happen in Britain. This kind of thing isn’t meant to be what politics is about.

One of the things 38 Degrees members have in common is that we all want the world to be a better place. We believe it can be a better place. And we know it’s worth working together to make it a better place. I think Jo Cox believed that too. Her husband says we should all unite “against the hate that killed Jo”. I hope we can be part of that together.

Many 38 Degrees members from all across the UK have been in touch with suggestions for ways we can honour Jo Cox – and stand up for hope and compassion, and unite against hate. I thought I’d share them with you. It’s totally up to you to decide if any of this feels right for you.

1) Hundreds of people have already shared messages about Jo Cox on the 38 Degrees Facebook page. We will collect all the messages left today and over the weekend, and compile them into a condolences book for Jo’s family.

“As an MP she fought for victims of violence, for equality for all, for her constituents, she had a huge heart and parliament will be a poorer place without her.” Lyn

“Can’t believe this has happened. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. The poor woman was just trying to do her job and help people. I’m horrified.” Julie

If you’d like to write a few words, please use the comment section below, or go to Facebook here.

2) Jo Cox supported many charities and campaigns. Before she became an MP, she worked for charities including Oxfam. As an MP, she spoke up for several campaigns close to the hearts of 38 Degrees members, including the plight of refugee children. If you’d like to make a donation in her name, her husband Brendan has suggested three worthy causes. You can see more details by clicking here.

3) A mother of two, a politician, a campaigner, a Yorkshire woman. Many people have written inspiring tributes to Jo Cox. If you’d like to take a few minutes to read more about her life, what she stood for and the things she achieved, here are some suggestions:
Yorkshire Evening post: Kate Proctor: Deeply respected and committed to her young family – my time with Jo Cox:
The Telegraph: My fearless friend Jo Cox, a five-foot bundle of Yorkshire grit:
The Independent: Jo Cox: The Labour MP who campaigned tirelessly for refugees:
The Telegraph: Jo Cox profile: The Yorkshire lass who achieved her ‘dream’ of representing her hometown in Westminster:
The Mirror: Jo Cox’s death has robbed politics of one of its brightest stars and her family of a wonderful mum:

4) Jo was murdered whilst doing her job as an MP, as she left a meeting with constituents in one of the towns she was elected to represent.

We don’t always see eye to eye with our MPs about everything. But yesterday’s horrific events are a reminder that the work they do is important and can be extremely tough. Many of them work very hard, and do their best to speak up for their local area.

Today your local MP is probably feeling pretty shocked that one of their colleagues has been killed. So some 38 Degrees members have decided to send their own MP a message thanking them for their work and letting them know it’s appreciated. If you’d like to send your MP a nice message today, please click here:

This has been a week of bad news. Not just the murder of Jo Cox, but also the horrific attack in Orlando, ugly scenes at the football, and inflammatory language about the EU referendum. Maybe Jo Cox’s words can bring us back together and keep us moving forward:

“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.

A vigil in honour of Jo Cox is being planned for Parliament Square in London at 7.30pm tonight. There are more details on this Facebook post.

Another is being planned in Edinburgh for 6.30pm.

In Manchester there will be a vigil at 7pm.

Birmingham is holding one at 7pm too.

As is Brighton.

And Glasgow, also at 7pm.

Peterborough is holding one earlier – at 4.30pm.

In Cardiff the vigil will take place at 6pm.

Bath Labour Party will be holding a vigil for Jo Cox tomorrow evening, Saturday, 18 June,  from 6-7pm outside Bath Abbey.

And Bath Labour Party Office at 136 Walcot Street, Bath will be open from 10-4 on Saturday, so that people may sign the book of condolences.

And there is a vigil in Aberdeen on Sunday at 5pm.

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