Black Lives Matter protest on Ealing Common 26 July
July 23, 2020/ by Matt Smith
Black Lives Matter protestors are planning to hold a peaceful protest on Ealing Common on Sunday 26 July.
The event, due to start at 1.45pm, is part of the worldwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in May this year in Minneapolis, USA. There will be music and ‘socially distanced dancing’ say the organisers.
In solidarity with their American counterparts, protesters have been demanding an end to police brutality, which they say disproportionately affects Black people. This will be the third BLM protest on Ealing Common in six weeks, with the most recent being held on Sunday 12 July.
The last Black Lives Matter protest on Ealing Common attracted around 50 people and was addressed by the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, Rupa Huq and Balwinder Rana, the convenor of West London Stand Up To Racism.
Similar protests have been held in other areas of West London over the last couple of months, including: Turnham Green, Chiswick, Hillingdon, Brentford and Kew.
Image above: BLM protestors on Ealing Common
Images above: West London Stand Up To Racism at a previous protest, Rupa Huq MP plays drums at a previous protest on Ealing Common.
‘Protesting against racism in all its forms’
Protesters claim that UK police forces are not innocent when it comes to the issue of police brutality, as there have been several incidents where Black people have died after interactions with police.
Sean Rigg was a 40-year-old black British musician and music producer who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He died following a cardiac arrest on 21 August 2008 while in police custody at the entrance to Brixton police station. Roger Sylvester was a mentally ill man who died after being detained outside his home in Tottenham by eight Metropolitan Police officers. Joy Gardener died after being detained during a police immigration raid on her home in Crouch End when she was restrained with handcuffs and leather straps and gagged with a 13-foot length of adhesive tape wrapped around her head. Cynthia Jarrett died due to heart failure during a police search at her home.
Balwinder Rana, one of the organisers of the protest said:
“We saw what happened on Thursday, 16 July, in Islington when a police officer put his knee on a black man’s neck who was already in handcuffs and lying on the ground. It was a copycat example of what happened to George Floyd and its mind numbing how, after millions of people have protested around the world, a policeman could still do such a thing and in front of the cameras”.
“It makes one wonder what they do when there are no witnesses. That man was lucky because there were so many people around who were not just bystanders and were prepared to intervene, thus becoming upstanders”.
“It’s not just the police brutality that we would be protesting against but racism in all its forms. The Windrush Scandal, the Grenfell fire, the disproportionate stop and search of young blacks and now the disproportionate deaths of BAME people due to COVID19 have shown that black people’s lives are not valued by the people in power”.
“I am glad to see that so many white people have been coming out to support us, especially the youth. We want to bring all such people together, people who are prepared to take a stand, and we want to build a mass movement so that we can shout loud enough till the authorities hear our voices that Black Lives Matter”.
‘Get off my neck’
Below is a video which shows the incident mentioned by Balwinder.
The video went viral on Twitter and got the attention of the national media. One of the officers in the video has now been suspended.
Wtf! Two Met Police Officers hold down a black man with one officer with knee on his neck in Islington.
— Jerry Hicks (@JerryHicksUnite) July 17, 2020
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See also: Black Lives Matter protest in Chiswick