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George Floyd cannot be just another name

June 9, 2020 7:03 PM
By Roderick Lynch


George Floyd cannot be just another name. The Liberal Democrats support the movement to bring justice and equality for black communities. Black Lives Matter

In the week since the death of George Floyd in the United States, the grief and anger of black communities in the US and closer to home has been clear.

Protests against the killing of black people by police have erupted everywhere from Floyd's home state of Minneapolis, USA, to the UK, Japan, and New Zealand. The world knows George Floyd's name, and his death has fuelled a movement to end police violence against black people.

The Liberal Democrats exist to fight for justice, liberty and equality. We are living through a moment in history where our values are challenged, and as liberals we stand on the side of social justice. We must stand in solidarity with black communities in the US and around the world.

Just as we have a moral obligation to speak out against the injustice we're witnessing in the US, we also can't ignore the failings here in the UK. In the UK 26% of instances of police using firearms are against black people, despite black people making up only 3.3% of the population. 51% of young men in custody in the UK are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, despite these groups making up only 14% of the UK population. The 2017 Lammy Report concluded that "BAME individuals still face bias, including overt discrimination, in parts of the justice system". More recently, we've seen that BAME people are 54% more likely than white people to be fined under the new coronavirus lockdown laws.

Black people are suffering at the hands of institutions systematically biased against them. It's unjust. It's unfair. It's racist. The Liberal Democrats extend our solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. We fully support black communities in the UK and abroad, and stand with them against the injustice they face.

George Floyd cannot be just another name. This fight needs to make a real change, and the Liberal Democrats will support the movement to bring justice and equality for black communities. Black Lives Matter.

The Black Lives Matters protests will hopefully bring about change, but will also inevitably bring trauma, grief and hurt. The social media feeds we're all becoming so reliant on in coronavirus lockdown are flooded with videos and stories of police brutality against black people. These are hard to witness, especially for other black people, and it might feel like there is no escape.

These feelings are completely valid, and there are mental health resources out there to help:

Free therapy from the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network

Mental health charity, MIND's resources

NHS Mental Health resources

Access to the Samaritans