Communities all over the world are finally taking a stand against racism.
Black Lives Matter protests have been sparked all over the world following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as he cried out to him “I can’t breathe”. The officer’s colleagues watched on.
Thousands of people in the UK have gathered together over the last few days to protest against the killing of George Floyd holding placards that read “Justice for George Floyd” and “black lives matter” the protesters marched across London, Cardiff and Manchester. Despite a recent report from Public Health England stating that people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus, they are the ones having to risk their lives to fight for their own rights. Protests allow black people to come together to share their pain, it’s a place for them to show their internalised rage within them.
Emily Maitlis claimed in a Newsnight interview with George The Poet that racism in the UK is not “on the same footing” as it is in America. She went on to say “You’re not putting America and the UK on the same footing,” adding: “Our police aren’t armed, they don’t have guns, the legacy of slavery is not the same. Racism is very much a big issue here in the UK. These past few months have been filled with black deaths in the UK. We hear every day that people of colour that are key workers are dying at an alarming rate. We were saddened by the death of Belly Muninga who died after a member of the public who said he had Covid-19 spat and coughed at her. Following an investigation, a decision was made to close the case and no conviction was made leaving a very bitter taste in my people’s mouths. The harsh reality is black lives do not matter to those in power in this country either.
Racism for years has served to uphold the view that white people are superior to black people, this ideology has served to establish power and a system whereby such power creates white privilege. Racism is not getting worse, it is just getting captured. This isn’t new! It has always existed. This is not the first time this has happened, it has time and time and again and these names keep getting forgotten. We need to remember that even when the dust settles our fight for change within the system and society must remain. Racism is generational and is so deeply engraved in society and has to be unlearned
Here are some of the most moving moments of peaceful protesting captured over the last few days, and shared on social media:
— leanahosea (@leanahosea) June 3, 2020
Today, @iKhristenCraft @cocoabsss and I (with a team) organised a protest in Hyde park!! It was a socially-distanced PEACEFUL protest. Thank you for all the support and the donations. Please can everyone who came, stay in your house for 14 days via the covid rules! ?? #BLMLDN pic.twitter.com/If9lFbnATT
— I Am Naomi Smith. (@Nayz100) June 3, 2020
Imagine the number of offences we don’t see and just get hidden.
Further London protests — in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter protests across the US — are planned for 6 June (Parliament Square from 1pm), and 7 June (US Embassy, Nine Elms from 2pm).
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”- James Baldwin