Liberal Democrats

I stand in full solidarity with everyone protesting in London

Read Siobhan Benita's open letter ahead of the Black Lives Matter protest in London this evening

By Siobhan Benita, Jun 03, 2020 6:06

The murder of George Floyd has led to a global outpouring of anger and grief.

From Windrush to Grenfell, from Stephen Lawrence to Mark Duggan, we are not short of our own examples of institutionalised, deep-rooted injustices that shame us all

Racism has been exposed in the most shocking and tragic of ways in Minneapolis but make no mistake - it exists in Britain too.

In London, thousands of protestors are expected to gather in Hyde Park in possibly the biggest Black Lives Matter demonstration the capital has ever seen.

From Windrush to Grenfell, from Stephen Lawrence to Mark Duggan, we are not short of our own examples of institutionalised, deep-rooted injustices that shame us all. From the white-washed curriculum that is still taught in British schools to the indiscriminate use of stop and search and racial profiling in our cities, racism permeates our society at all levels.

Even today, with the indisputable evidence before us that black and minority ethnic people are more at risk from Covid-19, we are failing to put in place adequate protections or to try and understand why. Racism in the UK is a public health crisis which requires broad, sustained and urgent action.

Racism in the UK is a public health crisis which requires broad, sustained and urgent action

As a member of the Liberal Democrats, a political party that proudly states its opposition to entrenched privilege and inequality, rejects prejudice and discrimination and seeks to build a fair, free and open society, I’m acutely aware of how deeply we have failed too.

It’s time for us and for all organisations that can affect change, to stop hiding behind correct but hollow words. It’s time for us to listen. Time for us to get educated. Time for us to work in partnership with black people to bring about real change.

I know that as a white woman I can never fully understand this struggle. But, as the London mayoral candidate, I can use the platform of my campaign to amplify voices that don’t have my privileges and to be the best ally I can be.

For today, I stand in full solidarity with everyone protesting in London. Stay safe.

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