Newham’s town halls to turn purple in support of Black Lives Matter

The Old Town Hall in Stratford is being lit up in purple in support of Black Lives Matter. Picture:

The Old Town Hall in Stratford is being lit up in purple in support of Black Lives Matter. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Newham Council is set to light its town halls in purple in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

At the weekend thousands of people in London, Manchester and Cardiff protested the death of African American George Floyd, 46, who was killed on May 25 while being arrested by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

A video showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck as he pleaded that he could not breathe reignited anger over police killings of black Americans and sparked protests around the world. Mr Chauvin has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: “While the coronavirus emergency has completely dominated our front pages for the last few months, this past week I have watched in pain and outrage the video of the death of the unarmed black American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. The video recording has been widely circulated showing George Floyd pinned to the floor saying he was in pain and couldn’t breathe, begging for his life.

“The unspeakable horror has sparked large-scale civil unrest in America, despite the Covid-19 pandemic gripping the country, symptomatic of decades of police brutality against African-Americans in the US.”

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Newham Council said the town halls in East Ham and Stratford will be lit up in purple tonight (Tuesday, June 2) because it is the colour “which has been become synonymous with the struggle against oppression”.

Ms Fiaz added: “George Floyd’s killing has unleashed unprecedented protest in America, being labelled an ‘uprising’ as his family urge peaceful protest, and solidarity is being displayed this side of the Atlantic.

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“In Newham, which as one of the highest ethnic minority communities in the UK, we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family and friends, the people of Minneapolis, and everyone who continues to challenge racism, discrimination and inequality.

“As a mark of our solidarity, and to underline our commitment, our town halls will be lit up in purple.”

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