BLM protests took place all over the UK last weekend, as they have for the past two months. Below we report on just some of them.
“Get your knee off my neck” – Justice for Marcus Coutain
Around 50 people gathered outside Islington police station on Saturday after an officer was filmed kneeling on Marcus Coutain’s neck as was being detained.
BLM protests in Lewsiham
Above: BLM protest in Lewisham, south east London
Below: Smethwick, West Midlands takes the knee
Around 60 people gathered in Smethwick to take the knee for racial equality.
Leamington Spa says black lives matter!
Above: Leamington Spa
Carmarthen, Wales: 100 turn out for Picton Must Fall! demo
A socially distanced demonstration calling for the removal of the Picton Memorial in Carmarthen and its replacement with a fitting memorial to the victims of Thomas Picton and slavery.
Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee has got hold of damning evidence of the extent of the oppressive nature of the policing of black (and white) youth in the big cities of the UK, especially London.
Lots of anecdotal evidence has been cited about the increase in stops of young people and now we have the proof.
For black youth the level of harassment has gone way off the scale, with a quarter of all the young black people having been stopped during the lockdown.
This comes after the overpolicing of block parties on working class housing estates.
From the Guardian:
Young black men were stopped and searched by police more than 20,000 times in London during the coronavirus lockdown – the equivalent more than a quarter of all black 15- to 24-year-olds in the capital.
More than 80% of the 21,950 searches between March and May resulted in no further action, according to analysis by the office of the home affairs select committee chair, Yvette Cooper.
The figures equate to 30% of all young black males in London, though some individuals may have been searched more than once.
The Met increased its use of stop and search during the lockdown, compared with a year ago. The force carried out 43,000 stops in May, compared to 21,000 a year earlier, and 30,608 in April, up from 20,981.
Katrina Ffrench, chief executive of Stopwatch, a charity that campaigns against the disproportionate use of stop and search, said: “The number is shocking and saddening. How do those young people feel when this is their city, they’re going about their daily business, could be caring for parents, all sorts of reasons as to why they’re out?” more
Parliament Home Affairs Select Committee hears evidence on stop and search. Hearing evidence this week.
From the South Wales Argus:
STREET names, statues, and building names across Wales are to be reviewed as part of plans to “challenge” controversial aspects of the nation’s history, including connections with the slave trade.
First minister Mark Drakeford has ordered an urgent “audit” of public landmarks, which will all be reviewed by a group with expert knowledge of the slave trade, the British Empire, and the history of black communities in Wales, a Welsh Government spokesperson said.
“This is not about rewriting the past – it is about reflecting it with the justice it deserves,” Mr Drakeford said in a statement.
The audit has been commissioned following the recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, which have brought together activists and members of the public calling for an end to racial injustice and inequality. more
Not sure who the cartoonist is to credit. If someone can help please contact BLMM…
BLM protest and march for Breonna Taylor and all the innocent black people murdered by the police in the US and UK.
We are marching against institutional racism!!!
Assemble US embassy 2pm and march to Parliament Square.
Updated 14:38 BST
Black community leaders on the ground in London say an uprising is inevitable if police and their political masters continue with their oppressive policing of young black people at block party gatherings
A series of incidents across London are seeing tensions between the community and the police boils over.
One law for Black youth, another for middle-class white people
This comes against the background of mounting concern about the racist nature of the contrast between how black youth are dealt with in the Covid pandemic as opposed to white sunbathers on beaches, or mostly white people gathering in large numbers in cramped conditions in and around pubs, such as in Soho Square in London’s West End yesterday.
In those locations there is not a policeman to be seen but as soon as black youth organise their own cheaper forms of entertainment there’s a visit from the Metropolitan police’s Tactical Support Group (riot police).
In addition to the panoply of stop and search laws the police already use to harass black people – such as under PACE, Section 60 and anti-terrorism legislation, there is a new weapon in their locker: the Covid Act.
This was made clear not long into the pandemic when black people were soon shown to be disproportionately more likely to be stopped and fined by the police.
“There’s an explosion coming if the police carry on like this with the TSG”Ken Hinds
Ken Hinds, who runs a police monitoring group based in Tottenham, north London told BLMM: “Why don’t they come and talk to the community and the elders so we can supervise our own events instead of sending in riot police?”
“There’s an explosion coming if the police carry on like this with the TSG [Tactical Support Group].”
The rising tension has seen young people push back against police intimidation and wanton violence.
Block party clampdown: a “general anti-police conflagration” coming?
BLM activist Gary McFarlane echoed those sentiments: “After weeks of being told by the Tory politicians and others who should know better, that there was nothing to be fighting about here in the UK concerning racism – we see on display in this racist policing of block parties the full extent of the institutional racism of the police, and the government and politicians who encourage them.
“This comes after numerous cases of police racist violence and profiling, such as around the death of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.
“Then there’s the appalling treatment of Andrew Boateng and his son and the most recent outrage that has just come to light of Ryan Colaço, who has been repeatedly stopped by racist police -– one time after coming back from a Channel 4 interview about police harassment. Enough is enough.”
McFarlane continued: “The Met should know that more of this brutal discriminatory policing will see localised fight backs turn into a general anti-police conflagration across London. Is that what they really want?”
BLM fuels Black youth fightback
After months of being confined in flats with no gardens and with little money, the Black Lives Matter movement has given black (and white) working-class youth greater confidence to challenge racist policing practices.
Parties have been held in Streatham, Brixton, Tottenham, Kensal Town to name just a few areas of London, where videos of riot police have gone viral.
However, if you are a middle class white person partying and spending £5 on a pint of beer in Soho in crowded conditions that break all Covid social-distancing rules, that’s just fine. Not a cop in sight.
Raise your voice against the criminalisation of Black youth
Complain direct to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Independent for Police Conduct (IOPC):
Directorate of Professional Standards
Complaints Support Team
22nd Floor, Empress State Building
Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
This story will be updated throughout the day
Three hundred people came to Turnpike Lane today to protest against the use of Tasers by police and draconian Section 60 stop and search laws.
The protest was organised by Haringey Stand Up To Racism and supported by local Black Lives Matter groups.
Speakers included deputy leader of Haringey Council Seema Chandwani, and Andrew Boateng who’s case was recently reported by the national media after he was stopped with his son and handcuffed while on a charity ride for a community-police relations charity.
The cases of two black men (Millard Scott and Jordan Walker-Brown) tasered by police in Tottenham have come to light in recent weeks.
This follows incidents in the North, particularly in Manchester where Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara was tasered while holding his 5-year-old child.
A rising number of cases are being recorded as police use Tasers as an offensive weapon, and not for defence as originally intended.
Section 60 is increasingly being used by police to stop and search black youth without having to give a reason. Although most stops are still under PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act), the number is falling because of campaigning against it.
In response however, police are routinely turning to the more severe public order legislation that provides police with more draconian powers.
At the request of senior officers, entire boroughs – often several at the same time – can be put under section 60 and any individual stopped and searched.
These laws are being abused to widen the oppressive overpolicing of black communities – seen most recently in the ongoing unnecessary use of force to shut down block and street parties in London and elsewhere, while allowing sunbathers to congregate in huge numbers unmolested by the authorities.
Seeking cohesive collective impact
LDNBLM (TNA) are some of the young people in London who were involved in helping to organise the largest London protests. Here some members introduce themselves and talk about the IMPACT they want to make.