POLITICS: WHY WE FIGHT
The last few weeks going on months have been challenging. Outrage at racial injustice has once again reached an apex, it will fall and rise again but at this moment visible international resistance is active. The death of George Floyd awoke dormant indignation across the globe. The vivid imagery of police brutality and the desperate voice of Black subjugation gave evidential insight into racial oppression. It opened the eyes of those privileged enough to live without it, as well as bringing to the surface repressed traumas of Black people. The protests that erupted across America spread across the Atlantic and reached the pebbled shores of Britain, resulting in protests, not just of solidarity but, of understanding and recognition of the diasporic Black condition. In cities across the UK, people attended Black Lives Matter protests with many protesters gravitating towards monuments and symbols of oppression. Winston Churchill. Edward Colston. Thomas Picton.
I attended one of these protests and share with you my experience of the day as well as the racist response to acts of Black resistance.
People flocked to the city centre, masks on faces and painted signs in hands.
On Sunday the 7th of June there was a peaceful protest in Bristol. People flocked to the city centre, masks on faces and painted signs in hands, all to show solidarity against the criminalisation of Blackness - walking shoulder to shoulder for Black liberation and shouting chants against oppression.
It was a day of beauty.
A physical release from cyclical frustration and anger.
A space to be vulnerable without judgement.
A day motivated by emotion.
At dawn, the statue of Edward Colston stood tall and proud. He was a philanthropist and a slave trader. The outrage, against a perpetual pedestal, praising a man who caused pain for so many, did not begin and end on Sunday the 7th of June. For years petitions had circulated and councils were contacted to no end but on this day action was taken. By dusk, the statue had fallen and the symbol of slavery lay at the bottom of the very harbour where Colston’s ships docked.
Crowds cheered and danced; laughter erupted and cameras were taken out of pockets. The moment was immortalised - the same way the statue immortalised a man whose livelihood was dependent on the spilt blood of Black people. This violent history of oppression is the very reason people left the safety of their homes bearing masks and signs. They marched to protest Black death and I marched alongside them.
They redistributed acts of resistance on platforms dedicated to warping and misleading the truth, reimagining them as acts of violence.
Mainstream news publications released videos taken in moments of joy but framed them as moments of pain. They redistributed acts of resistance on platforms dedicated to warping and misleading the truth, reimagining them as acts of violence. The response to these videos are riddled with racialised language and anti-Black rhetoric exposing the ignorance we are fighting against. White supremacy isn’t uniquely American, and it isn't something of the past.
Ignorant, uninformed and disparaging comments were shared beneath videos from ‘ITV News’ and ‘Bristol.Live’. They have been collated to offer insight into the severity of anti-Blackness in Britain. Through these pernicious views and opinions, we have been given an opportunity to see behind the facade of British values to the reality of the everyday, unwavering, and absolute British racism. I extracted the comments verbatim. Any spelling mistakes or factual errors are of the writer’s own creations.
if u dont like this country no one stopping u from leaving.
We can escort you out the country if you need help
just an excuse to be thugs
get a hold of the poor black people
Where is the tear gas and water cannons
if I wos black I would not want this sort off behaviour
the Great unwashed
thugs and animals
if you don’t like our country leave
by behaving like thugs and criminals they are reinforcing attitudes against them
they have shown what thugs they are
There are no more slaves what’s the issue?!
If that's how they behave no wonder they were in shackles
his only instills more hatred towards them
they are hooligans
If you don't like it, F--K off out of it
They’ve no place in western civilization acting like that.
why aren't the army sorting that shower of sh** out.
Why not act like Hitler and wipe out history . Burn the books . Have we not learnt anything about extremists .
White life's mater as well.
Shane it didn’t fall on a few of them
They not protesters they rioters domestic terrorists and need delt with harshly and swiftly.
you cannot change history it is over and done.
How about white lives matter for the poor farmers murdered by blacks in south africa? 🤔
seriously the whole racism thing is so old news, gets extremely boring,
this is savagery
fire those guns
they don't need anything else they have more than enough xx
If you call me opressor because of my race, that's racist. Deal with it.
a load of baying hounds
Keep referring back to something that happened hundreds of years ago wont allow you to move forward.
BLM ARE CUNTS THEY ARE JUST DEGENERATE THUGS 48HOUR AFTER THE DEATH OF GEORGE THAT WHEN THE THUGS CAME OUT THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING
And all this because 3 police in America what were all of diffrent ethnic back grounds killed some what is awfull.but was it really a racist attack
I'm just not convinced it was a racist attack to start with .
i’m not racist but
We welcome them in the UK and this is how they thank us
These comments reveal the true face of racist Britain hiding behind a mask of civility and discretion.
These responses to protesters fighting for equality and rightfully tearing down a symbol of white supremacy and enslavement are the very reasons why the action was necessary. Why the movement is necessary. These comments reveal the true face of racist Britain hiding behind a mask of civility and discretion. These are our neighbours, your relatives, your friends, our teachers; and the hateful words they share remind us of why we still have to fight to end the institutionalised racism so deeply embedded in our society. We stood, emotionally raw, side by side on Sunday the 7th of June because we understand the struggle against racism, we experience the hidden and explicit wrath of white supremacy and we continue to demand liberation.