Learning and understanding are key.
Brixton has come along way… where is it going? Ever since the uprisings in the 1980’s, many people, community organisations and authorities in Brixton have put in a lot of hard work to make black lives better in the area. Many children and young people of the riots now own the businesses, teach in our schools, and play key and leading roles in our community. But we have also known that there is further to go. Recent events like the Windrush scandal and the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on black and other minority communities has brought this into sharp and undeniable focus – the endemic pervasive disadvantages still faced by too many people.
Why should black achievement still be against the odds and such an uphill struggle? What’s this ‘white privilege’, even when some face some similar issues? Look at institutions, and societal norms, and call them out. This is what ‘silence is complicity’ is about. Find the barriers, the common challenges, and what unites us. How can everyone work together for justice and parity across the artificial divides?
The page banner shows images of the Olive Morris window in the building named in her honour that’s about to get demolished. Blended onto this image is the face of George Floyd, which will join Olive and too many others as icons of the push for righting the injustices. Below the image is spelt out the action we need to take, how we all need to be, and what needs to be behind our actions, whether neighbours, employers, authorities, or whatever we are. We can all act now.
These words are here for another reason too:
In an unusual move for a non-politically aligned community organisation, it’s time to stand up and call out the way the current outcry is being handled at its epicentre… to call out President Trump. Those words characterise what is needed, none of which remotely apply his actions. Think of the opposite of those words and that’s what comes from him. This is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of common humanity and decency.
He may have been voted in; he might be again; but he has responsibilities with global consequences, and we need to call him out. We do not accept how so many organisations, politicians, influential figures and institutions tread on eggshells around his blatant lies, vindictive victimisation, and unprecedented abuse of power in the hope that he’ll conveniently disappear soon. There are people and politicians in this country hungry to follow his copybook. Silence in this country is complicity. It’s not acceptable.
Recent marches have shown what ordinary people think. Mass gatherings are currently against the coronavirus restrictions and carry well known risks. Other methods are possible too. Whatever your means, some selected resources are below:
UK Black Lives Matter – http://blacklivesmatteruk.com/
BLM Toolkits – https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources/
Informed reading and resources – https://gal-dem.com
What to do if you can’t attend public demonstrations – https://gal-dem.com/what-to-do-if-you-cant-protest-on-the-streets-for-black-lives-matter/
And if travel is irresistible, go by the advice at all times, and organisers advise self-isolation for two weeks afterwards.
Some interesting reading here about public space and systemic racism here: https://www.citylab.com/ including an inspiring story about Washington DC’s local government response to the recent Road Closer in Chief’s activities – https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/06/white-house-fence-washington-public-space-black-lives-matter/612592/