The Sabadell City Council, also known as Casal Pere Quart, served hosted a presentation by the C4i project, which is part of the project Teixint la convivència (promoting coexistence): Sabadell Anti-Rumour Network by the Department of Civil Rights and Citizenship of Sabadell City Council.
As said by the Sabadell Mayor Joan Carles Sánchez in today’s presentation: “We need to be conscious that rumours appear anonymously under the social mass. This generates an effect of responsibility assumed by society as a whole, and it might spread rumours as true. However, what this actually does is to discredit other citizens as if they belonged to a lower social class.” The Mayor added: “I congratulate the creation of this network to fight misconceptions and prejudices; and I really encourage you to keep boosting this moral attitude defending people’s dignity every day.”
The Civil Rights and Citizenship Councillor, Quim Carné stated: “This project allowed us to get to know other different points of view, other perspectives, and advance in strategies to tackle stereotypes which are harder to tackle than an atom itself.”
Daniel Torres, expert of the Council of Europe, director of the Spanish Network of Intercultural Cities (RECI in Spanish), and promoter of the C4i Project, highlighted: “Sabadell is a city that works hard to fight rumours and deal with coexistence issues. For this reason, Sabadell is an extraordinary example for other countries to follow.” Torres also emphasized: “The project has no strength without the city’s support and political defence. That is why I want to thank the city and its efforts to bring a reality that exists everywhere to the surface, and which is given disproportionate dimensions.”
Miquel Àngel Essomba, is the general coordinator of the European Network SIRIUS for the education and immigration of the European Union. He also held the conference Does diversity affect school success? Where he analyzed how “various studies reveal that the origin of immigrants does not affect the natives school success; there are other significant factors like the socio-economic status or the mother tongue that might affect it. Moreover, it also depends on the educational model a country implements, and what traits the educational model adopted enhances.”
The CEIP Sallarès i Pla school principal Francisco Salmeron Navea, showed a video about academic environment rumours recently filmed at his school. The video is informative and counts on the participation of both schoolteachers and pedagogues. It finally shows that school diversity is compatible with school success.
The main goal of the European Project C4i Communication for Integration is to fight against negative rumours, myths and stereotypes regarding immigrants by using strong and objective counterarguments. A number of 10 European cities, including Sabadell, participate in the project. The main goal belongs to one of the duties of the city Department of Civil Rights and Citizenship and is included in its Master Plan.
In a context of economic difficulties like today, many public austerity policies are adopted. The social consequences are a rise in the battle for public resources and an increased social tension, which favours the proliferation of rumours that badly affect the coexistence of diverse people in the city.
It is inside this context where action should be taken. It is necessary to detect and face those rumours and subsequently counteract them by using viral and real information, with the goal of raising public awareness and involve the population in this fight. That is the reason why the slogan is: “Sabadell, stay away from rumours.”
The C4i Project will strengthen the city’s Anti-Rumour Network, which was created last year by the members of Sabadell Coexistence Commission and, at the same time, it will try to create a stronger effect in the efforts to neutralize existing rumours.