Portraits of Protest

UCL students attended Black Lives Matter protests in London and Berlin. Solidarity, unrest and placards- these are snapshots of the global movement.

‘We are at a critical moment in race relations discourse in the UK and around the world. The work of Black Lives Matter and many other anti-racist organisations that has been years in the making is finally being brought to the forefront of mainstream attention and it is crucial that this momentum is upheld. Over the past two weeks the world has witnessed our communities standing in solidarity and demanding long-overdue change’. @ccshottss

‘Black lives have always mattered . We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless.’ – John Boyega (2020)
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
In 2014, Eric Garner was murdered by police as he exclaimed ‘I can’t breathe’. Six years later George Floyd fell victim to the same brutality.
Image courtesy of
@joharameyer
George Floyd’s death has sparked protests around the world calling for police accountability and an end to police brutality.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
Trafalgar Square primarily serves as a commemorative space remembering various naval and military men who had roles in the expansion of British political hegemony. It has historically been a place celebrating British imperialism, but now it is a site of protest and change for the most marginalised groups.
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
Britain’s colonial history is greatly misunderstood as a result of the lack of education on the true horrors of the empire. During the Second Boer War a sixth of the Boer population was detained in concentration camps. 27,000 Boers died. Did you know this?
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
‘You’re British. Your parents are British. Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British. So why do people keep asking where you’re from?’ – Afua Hirsch ‘Brit(ish)’ (2018)
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
The 1998 Macpherson report has been viewed as one of the most important moments in Britain’s history of criminal justice as it identified the institutional racism within Britain’s police.
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
The 2011 census revealed that black people account for 3% of the UK population, but 8% of deaths in custody.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
In 2008, a black man named Sean Rigg was murdered in Brixton. In the midst of a mental health crisis, police pinned him to the ground and crushed him under their weight. His family have yet to see an officer convicted for his death.
Image courtesy of @ccsho
tss
‘George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Sean Reed. Tony McDade.’ The names of just a few Black Americans who have been murdered due to systemic racism in recent months. Between 2013-2019, there were 7666 deaths at the hands of the American police.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
In the UK from April 2018 to March 2019, there were 4 stop and searches for every 1,000 white people, compared with 38 for every 1,000 black people.
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
‘Part of the problem stems from a ‘warrior mentality’. Police often think of themselves as soldiers in a battle with the public rather than guardians of public safety.’ – Alex S. Vitale. “The End of Policing”. (2018)
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
‘Tell me something
what you think would happen if
every time they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop
every time they kill a black man
then we kill a cop
you think the accident rate would lower subsequently?’
‘Poem about police violence’, – June Jordan (1980)
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
In 2002, Boris Johnson said that people in the Commonwealth were ‘flag-waving piccaninnies’ and Congolese people had ‘watermelon smiles.’
In 2008, ‘Orientals … have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole.’
In 2018, ‘female students who turn up to school or university “looking like a bank robber” should be asked to uncover their faces.’
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
Racism in America is embedded in the country’s history. Since 1619, when the first black slaves arrived in Virginia, black people have been subject to inequality and brutality.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
In 2018 Stonewall revealed that 51 per cent of BAME LGBT people reported having experienced racism in the LGBT community. This number rises to 61 per cent for black LGBT people.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
In a historic move, the Minneapolis Council have since voted to disband the police force and replace it with a new system of public safety.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
Dallas, Texas is pioneering a new scheme where social workers are dispatched to some emergency calls instead of police officers. This has had an extremely positive response. Think a police-free society is impossible? All you need is funding and compassion.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
A paramedic stops to cheer on the Black Lives Matter protestors in London. One in five NHS staff are from a BAME background.
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
‘True solidarity … is in the daily discomfort of taking risks, of challenging a  system that subtly but emphatically excludes black people, when there is no reward for doing so, and of making way and giving up space where it counts – at the table where power sits – and when no one can see you do it’, – Nesrine Malik (2020)
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
By the age of five, Black and Latinx children show no preference toward their own racial groups whereas white children are more likely to be biased in favour of whiteness. Education needs to start young, and never end.
Image courtesy of @joharameyer
Edward Colston oversaw the trade of 80,000 slaves during the seventeenth century. On June 7th 2020 his statue, and his legacy, was toppled.
Image courtesy of @ccshotss
‘All that matters is kindness and the capacity to recognise the existence of people other than you.’ – Zadie Smith
Image courtesy of @joharameyer


Petitions to sign:  

Donations:

Further readings:

Film, documentaries and podcasts:

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