Brits Asked To Kneel On Doorsteps In Protest Against George Floyd’s Death
People in Britain are being urged to ‘take the knee’ on their doorsteps later this evening, June 3, to show solidarity with those demonstrating in the US.
Protests sparked by the death of George Floyd – who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes – continue across the US and worldwide this week, with thousands demanding justice for Floyd and all black people.
Now, Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) is asking people across the UK to #TakeTheKnee for George Floyd at 6.00pm tonight as part of a socially distanced day of action against racism.
The take-a-knee action was inspired by American football star Colin Kaepernick, who staged a kneeling protest in 2016 by refusing to stand during the national anthem to draw attention to racial inequality.
Since then, it has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement, with demonstrators using the action in recent days to draw attention to the cruel and unjust way Floyd died.
In certain states police officers have joined protesters in kneeling, although many have criticised these departments for using it as a PR stunt – particularly because officers continue to use violent tactics to silence demonstrators and have been filmed using tear gas and rubber bullets just moments after kneeling.
In a statement, SUTR said it ‘stands in solidarity’ with George Floyd and those protesting against his death around the world.
‘We are outraged that yet another black person has been killed at the hands of the police in the USA,’ the statement continued. ‘The events unfolding in the USA are a product of hundreds of years of racism and oppression of black communities, which has led to countless lives lost.’
The organisation also said today’s campaign aims to highlight the disproportionate effect the current health crisis is having on black communities, adding:
The events also take place in the context of black communities disproportionately dying as a result of and infected by coronavirus, the highest levels of unemployment, which is rising fast due to the rapid economic contraction taking place.
So black people are disproportionately affected by police brutality, unemployment, economic hardship and the coronavirus. We understand the anger that has motivated people to come out and protest across the USA and also here in Britain.
The organisation’s comments come as a Public Health England review published on Tuesday – amid claims it had been delayed due to fears the findings would stoke racial tensions – confirmed people from BAME communities are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19.
‘Racism is the underlying condition that continues to kill black and BAME communities,’ Weyman Bennett of SUTR said, as per The Independent. ‘Take the knee at 6pm because there is a boot on the neck of millions of people in the BAME community. Part of the cure for the virus of racism is to embrace anti-racism and anti-fascism.’
If you’re able to, you can take the knee tonight at 6pm from your own doorstep.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
CreditsBlack Lives Matter and 2 others
Black Lives Matter
Stand Up To Racism