Today is the anniversaary of the toppling of the statue of slave trader & owner, Edward Colston!
On 25th May 2020 the brutal murder of George Floyd reignited the issues of systemic brutality!
The sickening murder of George Floyd Reignited the issues of systemic brutality against African heritage people not only in America but worldwide, resulting in masses of people taking to the streets to demand justice and an end to systemic racism.
The peaceful protest on 7th June 2020 led to the statue of Slave owner and slave trafficker, Edward Colston being torn down & thrown into Bristols harbour, sparking similar actions globally, with governments forced to confront their country’s genocide, exploitation and theft of resources that have led to decades of oppression of African heritage people. We also saw a plethora or reports on race and disproportionality here in the UK with Doreen Lawrences unavoidable crisis and including Public Health England “Beyond The Data Report” and the disparity of outcomes for BAME people under the spectre of Covid. The “UN black people, Racism and Human Rights Report” confirmed the negative affect of institutional racism on African heritage people. The Wendy Williams report on the Windrush Scandal and the report on Stop and Search highlighted the hostile environment that people of African heritage continue to suffer here in the UK. In the summer of 2020 the Prime Minister at the time, Boris Johnson, announced a commission on race and ethnic disparities chaired by Tony Sewell to look into discrimination against BAME people in education, health and the criminal justice system.
Let’s to take a moment to remember and pay tribute to why the protest happened in the first place which was of course in response to the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and all those who had gone before George Floyd, the unwillingness or inability of the criminal justice system to take timely action, it was failure of human rights and democracy.
The Racial justice system in United States, whats happened there? What improvement has been made there and here and in the UK?
Just 13 days after the murder of George Floyd on Sunday 20th June the BLM protest took place, organised by 5 young people, one as young as just 15 years old, was an iconic day in British and Bristol’s history that had a massive ripple affect globally with other statues being brought down, but then the following ‘Kill the Bill’ protests against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts act is being branded an attack on human rights. Which was a massive step backwards, without protests we lose out on social progress, look at the suffragettes.
In the week leading up to the protest there was a real confusion about who was doing what.
The Sounds of Blackness who George Floyd used to do security for and whose studio is round the corner from where Floyd was murdered released a charity single for the George Floyd Foundation called Sick & Tired and this summed up the mood of many older people, and remember anyone over 60 was considered vulnerable at this time, so this is when we saw something incredible happen, a real uprising of young people who gathered in their 1000’s to stand up and against racism, wherever it rears it’s ugly head!