Black Lives Matter – this is a planned event for Summerleaze beach for Thursday morning – details also here on the Facebook page. Thursday at 11 am.
Organisers Hannah and Celli say:
We don’t think that statement should be radical.
Join us as we kneel for nine minutes – the time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck, leading to his death.
We are outraged, we are angry, and we stand in solidarity with our Black friends around the world.
North Cornwall may seem a long way from the USA, but here are a few stats that might bring the issues of systematic bias and racism closer to home. Just 1.8% of the population of Devon and Cornwall are BAME (2011 census), but:
• 1046 hate crimes based on race happened in Devon and Cornwall in 2019, the highest number out of all Hate Crime types. (www.devon-cornwall.police.uk)
• In Devon and Cornwall during 2018/19, Black people were searched at almost 8.5 times the rate of white people. (www.stop-watch.org)
• In February 2013, Devon and Cornwall police recorded just 1.3% of staff as from a BAME background.
Let’s not kid ourselves that racism is a US problem. We’re kneeling for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, Maurice Gordon Jnr, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and the many other Black Americans killed at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve them.
But we’re also kneeling because here in the UK young Black people are nine times more likely to be in youth custody than young white people (The Lammy Review).
We’re kneeling for the victims of the Windrush Scandal.
And for the fact that Black people are 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched in England and Wales, according to Home Office statistics.
We’re kneeling because Black Lives Matter shouldn’t be something that there’s a counter argument to.
We’re kneeling because, yes, of course, All Lives Matter, but to many people, all over the world, including here in the UK, Black lives simply don’t matter as much as white lives.
It’s a given that the majority of people protesting in Bude will be white. We know that we will never understand the prejudice and systematic racism that our BAME friends and family members face on a day to day basis. But we stand with them in solidarity, as allies.
This protest will be peaceful. We’ll meet, and kneel for nine minutes together, before dispersing.
• Arrive in time to find a spot without compromising on social distancing
• Bring placards and signs
• Stay two metres away from others at all times
• Wear a face covering if you can
We’ve selected Summerleaze Beach at low tide as it has multiple entry points and plenty of space, so please try not to create a bottleneck, and take the time you need to arrive and leave peacefully and safely.