May 25th is the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, USA which sparked off a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement across the world.
In Bristol, less than two weeks after Floyd’s murder, in the midst of a Black Lives Matter march of at least 10,000 people, hundreds of BLM protestors pulled down the statue of the leading slave-trader and city icon Edward Colston. An action which also reverberated globally.
In the USA protests continued for months and inspired others around the world to challenge police racism & brutality, and the institutions & structures that allowed such inequalities to exist. The Bristol protests also continued monthly up until December (and another lockdown), organised by the same young group of people who’d organised the 7th June demo, who became known as AllBlackLivesBristol (instagram).
One year on from George Floyd’s death, sadly the death of black people at the hands of the police in the USA, and indeed elsewhere around the world – Wales for example in early January 2021 – has not ended. In the UK, the hostile environment created by the Tory Government continues to denigrate people of colour. Racial profiling continues by the police leading to disproportionate harassment of black youth, not least in Avon & Somerset, as these figures form Stop Watch UK show. And the Government has gone out of it’s way to demonise the Black Lives Matter, as if somehow people shouldn’t protest inequality, racism & police violence? Hence we have the Police, Crime, sentencing & Courts Bill designed to keep us all in line.
No surprise then that a year on, the need to remember, reflect, organise and fightback continues. No suprise then to see an event in Bristol on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, because Black Lives matter, still!
Lantern Vigil of Remembrance – One Year On.
Details from the FB event – note this is a Vigil, not a protest:
One year on, remembering George Floyd, in remembrance of all those who have been killed, and of those whose lives have been blighted through neglect, racial violence, hate & racial injustice past and present.
Drop by, bring a jamjar and candle, leave a message on the tree.
College Green from 6.30 to 8.15pm
9 min silence at 8.00pm followed by a roll call of some names of those whose lives have been blighted through neglect, racial violence, hate & racial injustice past and present.
There will be speakers, poets, and time for reflection and sharing.
We are adhering to social distancing and current restrictions, please bring your own PPE.
This event is organised by @GladColstonsGone (FB page). It is part of a Series of Events from 25 May to 7 June organised by a number of groups – see the full Schedule of Events here.
Quote from the Schedule of Events for this Lantern Vigil of Remembrance:
On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by the police, a Lantern Vigil of Remembrance will be held on College Green, Bristol BS1.
Floyd’s killing re-ignited the Black Lives Matter movement, first in the USA, then around the world, as people demanded an end to police brutality and systemic racism. This Lantern Vigil will respect and remember all those who have suffered, died, and resisted – this year, last year, and over the centuries. Remember those who’ve died, fight for the living!
Plus from 2-6pm, at the Wonky Arrow squatted bookshop, at 45 High St, Bristol BS 2AZ – a member of the AllBlackLivesBristol group will be in discussion with anyone who wants to drop by. Details here.