Today (Sunday 7/6/2020) will see Black Lives matter demonstrations in Scotland.
I have tried to convince Back Lives Matter activists to move away from doing physical protests and to go online. Although they all have listened and have taken on board what we’ve said – one of the events did move online – the others are still taking place but trying to take as many precautions as they can around mask, gloves, stewarding and 2m social distancing. However it is not enough to assuage my concerns that we will risk spreading the coronavirus through community transmmission.
The crowds in Manchester, London and Birmingham are large today – impossible to keep social distancing in cities known to have the highest Covid 19 infection and death rates – and where BAME communities are the most vulnerable. We can all see that the crowds in Glasgow and Edinburgh especially will be much larger than can be safely contained in parks through social distancing.
I believe breaking the lockdown is unwise and opens our BLM colleagues up to criticism for breaking it – especially when Sheku Bayoh’s sister, Kadi Johnson, the family’s civil rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and Humza Yousaf and Anas Sarwar have called during the week not to go outdoors. The Bayoh family are the epitome of Black Lives Matter in Scotland. If we want BLM to succeed as a movement – we need to be wise to public concerns around Covid 19 – especially those of the family most directly affected by Police Scotland officers violence.
I have therefore decided not to attend tomorrow’s events in person but to show my solidarity virtually. When lockdown is lifted we will all have plenty of opportunities to protest – not least at the upcoming Public Inquiry into Sheku’s killing – That’s where the Bayoh family will need our support most.
Milateresa Brown writes:
” Darkie, Paki, Mongrel , Pickaninny, “get back to yer ain country !!! got called all these names in the school playground even before I got to secondary school !!! ” And later on …why don,t you just try passing as white ” .? ..( I,m bi-racial ) . This racist bullying cut me to the core & definitely affected my self esteem growing up . Trauma layered on trauma.
As I grew up , my skin started to get whiter . It became complex . My first boss decided to shorten my name as she couldn’t be bothered pronouncing my actual birth name . My best friend at the time said it was a good thing I had light skin nobody would guess I was a ” half caste ” because I could “pass myself off ” as Italian or Spanish . When you experience repeated Racist bullying because your skin is a different colour and not white it marks you out as being different , being “the other “…you think something is wrong with you !!.it was like people were trying to rub me out !!!…
I survived . In fact, I would say I’m equipped with rich source material that I mine as an artist a lot in my my work in different ways.
Seeing the footage of unarmed George Floyd in the U.S.A. being brutalised & murdered by Racist police men unsettled me & disturbed millions of people all over the world. All because the colour of his skin. Black lives Matter right now because they are at risk & in danger !!!
Especially Black men & how they are perceived by the police . As for here in Scotland, “Racism is not an anomaly- its hard wired into the DNA of any society like ours derived from a history of slavery, colonialism and imperialism,” so says my long standing friend ( full article in Glasgow Times 6.6.20 ) …
Black lives Matter very much, & more than ever right now !!!