Brixton people turned out in force last night (9 June) to join a regular nationwide demonstration of solidarity with the growing worldwide Black Lives Matter movement for justice for George Floyd and action on racism.
They were joined by people all over the country after the campaign group Stand Up To Racism had called on people across Britain to take the knee at 6pm – while maintaining social distancing.
As well as charging police officers responsible for deaths in custody, other demands by the campaign include an end to police stop and search, an independent public inquiry on disproportionate BAME deaths, the teaching of Black history in schools, justice for the victims of the Windrush scandal and the replacement of the discriminatory Prevent programme.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up To Racism co-convenor, said: “The inspiring worldwide Black Lives Matter movement is already achieving change thought inconceivable weeks ago, but we have a long way to go.
“These weekly #TakeTheKnee protests are for anybody, wherever they are, to pledge their support in the campaign against institutional racism, for justice for George Floyd and for all who have died at the hands of police, in racist attacks and to take a stand against Britain’s imperialist and colonial past.
“The racism we see today: Black people dying in police custody, rising racist attacks, the Windrush scandal, the preventable deaths of thousands of black people from COVID-19, are a legacy of imperialism and colonialism.
“#TakeTheKnee is an opportunity to stand with the millions across the world suffering from racism, join the call for real change, for a world without racism and make Black Lives Matter a reality.”
Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism Co-Convenor said: “As Frederick Douglass said: if there is no struggle, there is no progress. Anyone who has heard from the families of those who died at the hands of the police, who have never obtained justice, will know the progress we need to see on racism is long overdue.
“As we #TakeTheKnee together, let us pledge to take part in that struggle not just now, but until Black people in the US and Britain can no longer be killed by state officials with impunity, until institutional racism is dealt with, and until the hostile environment that led to the Windrush Scandal is defeated.”
Racism and injustice are still too prominent a feature in our own society