May 17, 2022
From Stand Up To Racism (UK)
Saturday 7 May 2022

Anti racists across Britain to #TakeTheKnee on two year anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd #BlackLivesMatter

On Wednesday 25 May, the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd that sparked the explosion of global Black Lives Matter protests, Stand Up To Racism groups across Britain will be holding #TakeTheKnee events to mark his death and raise the issue of ongoing institutional racism.

In 2020, and again in 2021, Stand Up To Racism organised a mass call out for those who stood with the #BlackLivesMatter movement that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a police officer, to take the protest stance made famous by American football star Colin Kaepernick to oppose police brutality and now synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement, with major press coverage highlighting the anti racist protest marking and commemorating George Floyd who has become a symbolic figure in the fight against institutional racist violence.

‘Remember George Floyd’ #TakeTheKnee events and speaks outs will be held in localities, workplaces and campuses with an event at the US embassy in South London on the day at 6pm with Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP.

Two years ago, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis. Anger at the injustice of his death sparked the biggest wave of protest against racism the world has ever seen.  The movement that spread from Minneasota across the USA and then the world raised the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’. Some justice was won for Floyd as his murderer Derek Chauvin and two other officers were tried and found guilty. Racism and racist institutions were challenged in cities, towns and villages across Britain by a mass movement on the streets. 

The events are being held to help make sure that George Floyd’s death was not just ‘a moment’ but the catalyst for lasting change.

The case of Child Q, strip searched by police in Hackney, hi lights the fact that the institutional racism that George Floyd’s death exposed on an international scale is still a reality – despite Boris Johnson’s government stating it was “imagined” in its ‘CRED report’ of 2021. 

Diane Abbott MP said
“From the disgraceful treatment of refugees, outrageous deportation flights and the widening of stop and search this government is engaged in an all-sided attack on the rights of Black and Asian people and other ethnic minorities. We have to prepare to fight back on all these issues and more.”

Aamer Anwar, human rights lawyer leading public inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh at the hands of six police officers in Kirkaldy, said
This public inquiry would never happened, had it not been for the courage and perseverance of Sheku’s loved ones who have refused to walk away, to be silenced, bullied or patronised.
 This Inquiry is testament to their desire to seek the truth and ensure Sheku is never forgotten.

“Over the years it has become clear to the family, that the Police, PIRC and Crown Office has operated an unholy trinity of dishonesty, racism and incompetence, betraying the word justice.

“Sheku’s sister Kadi, has no doubt that the way Sheku or her family were treated by the justice system would not have happened had Sheku been white, their treatment was compounded by repeated attacks from those who remain in a ‘child-like’ denial about the existence of racism in policing today.

“Kadi has described Sheku as Scotland’s George Floyd, but ‘Taking the knee’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ will mean nothing, if Scotland fails to support justice for Sheku.

“Unlike George Floyd it wasn’t one police officer restraining Sheku but at least seven police officers and unlike George Floyd’s case, no police officer has ever faced trial for the Sheku’s death in custody.”

Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism, said
“Two years on from the horrifying footage going viral of police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd by standing on his neck for over nine minutes, and we are still fighting institutional racism and violence at the hands of the police.

“The Child Q outrage where a teenage girl was assaulted in a forced strip search at her school by police has sparked rage and a fresh impetus to continue the demand for justice and to get racist police out of our schools. The ‘Conference for the Black Child: After Child Q- Racist Police Out Our Schools‘ on 11 June in Hackney is bringing together the movement to make the Child Q outrage our George Floyd moment – we are demanding action to say we will not be silenced.

“The legacy of the #BlackLivesMatter movement must be the lesson that we can mobilise resistance in a mass way, that the anti racist majority must not be in passive opposition but must put its shoulder to the pump and continue to build that movement that says we have had enough. Not one more racist attack, not one more death in custody, we must organise to bring down institutional racism in our society and not let the racists divide us. This is how we must commemorate George Floyd as we remember him on 25 May.”

Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co convenor said
“We cannot allow the Black Lives Matter movement to become simply a moment in history. Police killing black people still continues in the US and in Britain. As we approach the second anniversary of George Floyd’s killing we must keep up the pressure to eradicate institutional racism in policing and other institutions.”

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