Stratford protest calls for justice for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter campaign
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 15 September 2020
Anti-racism campaigners called for justice for George Floyd at a protest timed to coincide with the start of the trial of four US police officers over his death.
People gathered to speak out for the Black Lives Matter movement and refugees at the action outside St John’s Church, Stratford, on Friday, September 11.
The event was part of a national day of action called by the campaign group Stand Up To Racism as the four former officers stood trial charged with the murder of Mr Floyd who died in police custody in May.
Rev Robert Oture welcomed the protestors to St John’s before reading out a passage of scripture against injustice and oppression.
The black comedian and radio host, Quincy, told the audience: “It shouldn’t take a man’s death to hear what people have been through and their experiences.
“Racism isn’t just about someone abusing or assaulting you. It happens if you’re denied jobs or opportunities.”
East Ham MP, Stephen Timms, paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter campaign, saying: “Like everyone I want to see those police officers brought to justice.
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“But we have issues in our own community. We have the legacy of slavery. We have the hostile environment: the disgrace of the Windrush scandal and we have families who have ‘no recourse to public funds’ forced into destitution.”
Nadia Sayed from Stand Up To Racism called on people to oppose racism in the UK.
She said: “We need to challenge institutional racism in housing, employment, education, the hostile environment and racist immigration controls. All these are part of the fight to make black lives matter. ”
Unmesh Desai, London assembly member for City and East, spoke of the long tradition of fighting racism in east London.
Messages of support from West Ham MP Lyn Brown and the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, were read out too.
Rob Ferguson, convenor of Newham Stand Up To Racism recalled the death of Edson Da Costa in 2017 during a police stop in Custom House.
He called for unity against all forms of racism.
“Those who want to promote hate don’t distinguish between their targets; they don’t distinguish between Muslim, Mexican, Jew or black or refugees.
“We have to unite across differences against a common foe, whatever our colour, sexuality, gender or nationality,” he said.
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