Search

Protesters in Stratford ‘take the knee’ to demand justice for George Floyd in show of support

PUBLISHED: 11:35 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 05 June 2020

The protest was also a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Picture: Sylvia GB

The protest was also a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Picture: Sylvia GB

Archant

A protest demanding justice for George Floyd saw up to 70 people “take the knee” outside the town hall.

Protesters outside the town hall. Picture: Sylvia GBProtesters outside the town hall. Picture: Sylvia GB

It was part of a nationwide Day of Action called by campaign group Stand Up To Racism with members of the borough’s branch joined by supporters outside Old Town Hall, Stratford on June 3.

Lois Browne from Newham Stand Up To Racism, said: “This week has seen another shocking example of the toll, over centuries, on our black lives.

“Black people have been disproportionately dying during this pandemic and our people continue to be brutally murdered in the US, the UK and around the world.

“We must be active and challenge this racist system. Silence is no longer an option. In the words of Angela Davis, ‘In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist’.”

During the protest, people were called upon to drop to one knee, which symbolises opposition to police brutality and racism. Those who couldn’t make it, including those self-isolating, took the knee on their doorsteps.

You may also want to watch:

The socially distanced event was also in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as a call for justice for Mr Floyd who died in police custody in the US on May 25.

Speakers drew attention to racism and institutional discrimination in Britain and the disproportionate number of deaths in the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The protest was organised by Newham Trades Council and Newham Stand Up to Racism. Picture: Sylvia GBThe protest was organised by Newham Trades Council and Newham Stand Up to Racism. Picture: Sylvia GB

Steve Hedley, of Newham Trades Council, told the protest the pressures faced by working class people in Newham was linked to the struggle against racism.

Shantu Ferdus, who chairs Plaistow South Labour Party, told protesters Covid-19 BAME deaths were vastly disproportionate yet still the UK government refuses to support an independent inquiry.

Rob Ferguson, convenor of Newham Stand Up To Racism, said afterwards: “The protests taking place across the world, including the UK, are in response to the horrific killing of George Floyd but also to the experience of deep institutional racism.

“The call for an independent inquiry into the causes of the disproportionate Covid-19 BAME deaths addresses that structural discrimination.”

Protesters held Stand Up to Racism placards.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder