Brixton MPs demand government action on racism

Brixton MPs (l-r) Florence Eshalomi, Helen Hayes and Bell Ribeiro Addy
Brixton MPs (l-r) Florence Eshalomi, Helen Hayes and Bell Ribeiro Addy
Photos: David Woolfall

The three MPs whose constituencies include parts of Brixton yesterday (9 June) issued a joint statement calling on the government to address structural racism, discrimination and injustices in the UK.

Brixton  resident Florence Eshalomi (Labour, Vauxhall), Helen Hayes (Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood, and shadow minister for the cabinet office) and Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour, Streatham) also called on the government to condemn excessive use of force by the police in the USA and to ban the sale of anti-crowd gas, riot equipment and rubber bullets to the USA.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy was also among Labour MPs who yesterday took the knee in front of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

MPs take the knee outside the Houses or Parliament in Westminster
MPs take the knee outside the Houses or Parliament in Westminster

She said: “I was pleased to join my Labour colleagues to show solidarity with everyone fighting racism across the world.

“Racism and police violence have never been the sole preserve of the USA with Black people in the UK suffering disproportionately at every stage of the justice system.

“Another reason that the American Black Lives Matter protests have resonated with the Black community here is because of the government’s failure to protect Black people during the current pandemic.

“These tragedies must be a catalyst for systemic change. For change to happen it’s vital that we see some leadership from the top.

“As Labour Party representatives, we must wear our anti-racist credentials on our sleeves, coming out in full solidarity with the Black community.”

The joint statement by three local MPs said the killing of George Floyd exposed “a reality that is all too familiar for many Black African Americans and resonates deeply with so many in the UK who also suffer endemic racism and inequality.”

They said thousands of people have been motivated by the anti-racism and Black Lives Matter cause, including many young people who have become active for the first time.

“We urge people to express their views peacefully and safely, being mindful of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” they said.

“We call on the Government to address the structural racism, discrimination and injustices that exist in the UK, to condemn the excessive use of force by the Police in the US and to ban the sale of anti-crowd gas, riot equipment and rubber bullets to the USA.

“We remain committed to hold this government to account and to work for meaningful, long-lasting change.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. I love your work, BB, and good to see these three take a stand (and knee) on what is a defining issue of our time

    Personally, I would have preferred you had picked a better lead picture though than what is a white person being framed by two black people, particularly when we are talking about structural racism

    Maybe you were working on the red/black clothes contrast, or maybe Woolfall made the picture that way, I don’t know, but it devalues the point of the piece to me, and runs the risk of propagating and repeating what are really unconscious racial micro-aggressions and bias

    We don’t know we’re doing it, we certainly don’t mean to, but that’s why it’s important to sometimes step back and ask ourselves, are we….

    Maybe other people feel differently. I don’t know. This is just the way it made me feel

      • Nope, not good enough

        People are looking at a picture. The impact the image has has already happened well before someone might work out, should they even choose to, the particular naming convention you’ve chosen to use

        And if you were going to rely on that, the very least you should do is properly hyphenate Bell’s surname underneath

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.