Keir Starmer has vowed to introduce a race equality act to address inequalities exposed by the coronavirus pandemic on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, as vigils are held across the UK to mourn his death.
The Labour leader said that eradicating structural racism will be a “defining cause” for the next Labour government, along with shadow cabinet ministers David Lammy and Marsha De Cordova.
Floyd’s murder by a white police officer sparked a huge wave of anti-racism protests in the UK, con 260 towns and cities holding Black Lives Matter protests last June and July. The protests were attended by hundreds of thousands of people.
Lammy, el secretario de justicia en la sombra, dicho: “George Floyd looked like me, he could have been me. That’s why his death reverberated around the world. People said: none of us can breathe when we still face the issues of structural racism in our lives every day.
“That’s why George Floyd’s death sparked a global movement, from Minneapolis to Manchester to Mile End. Black and white people came together to say Black Lives Matter.”
Vigils are expected to take place across the country with crowds gathering in Brighton, Bristol, and Sunderland.
In Bristol the vigil was due to take place at the College Green in the city centre from 6.30pm followed by a nine-minute silence at 8pm with a roll call of names. The Facebook page for the event read: “One year on, remembering George Floyd, in remembrance of all those who have been killed, and of those whose lives have been blighted through neglect, racial violence, hate & racial injustice past and present”.
The statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled from its plinth and pushed into the docks by protesters in the city during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June last year. Desde entonces, several items have been placed on the empty plinth, include a statue of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid, whose statue briefly replaced that of the slave trader.
This comes as a poll has shown that Britons remain split over the attention paid to racism over the last year. The new research by Ipsos MORI gave an insight into British attitudes towards racism and inequalities one year after Floyd’s murder, with three in 10 (28%) saying it has been discussed too much, mientras 30% said it has been spoken about too little.
sin embargo, a majority said more needs to be done to tackle the issue, with Black African people and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers being seen as those treated most unfairly by society
The survey showed clear differences among the population, con 58% of 16-34-year-olds wanting more action to be taken while just under half of 55-75-year-olds felt the same (47%). mientras tanto, two-thirds (65%) of people from ethnic minority groups said more needs to be done to fight racism, comparado con 52% of people from white ethnic backgrounds.
Kully Kaur-Ballagan, research director at Ipsos MORI, said the conversation on racism over the last year has been brought to the fore and UK remained split on whether it was being given enough attention.
“The majority of the public, aunque, do acknowledge that more needs to be done to tackle the racism that ethnic minorities in Britain face today – particularly among ethnic minorities themselves,” she explained.
The anniversary has led to campaigners renewing their calls for a crackdown on stop-and-search powers by police because of fears they could be extended under a controversial policing bill, leading to people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds being disproportionately targeted.
The government wants to introduce serious violence reduction orders as part of the police, crimen, sentencing and courts bill to make it easier for police to carry out checks on people who have been previously convicted of carrying a knife.
Human rights group Justice said greater restrictions are needed on stop and search to “avoid discriminating against our country’s ethnic minorities”, adding the bill would “extend punishment from prison into the community, and risk further damaging confidence in the police”.
Katrina Ffrench, founder and director of organisation Unjust, which scrutinises policing, said there is “no place” for s60 powers and warned the public could soon see a “morphing” of stop and search, agregando: “If this bill is passed, it is going to get much worse.”
The chief constable of West Midlands police, Sir Dave Thompson, who is also the vice-chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said much had been done to address racism, discrimination and bias where it has been found in policing but “we must now go further and faster, because doing the right thing by investing in community confidence will help to keep everyone safe”.
In sport Uefa launched a campaign to coincide with the anniversary, encouraging everyone involved in football to join the fight against discrimination by signing up to an Equal Game. The message is spearheaded by sport stars including Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Moise Kean.
“It is not only players but all of us that should be role models in the fight against discrimination. Famous or not, we all have the responsibility to act and positively influence our environment,” said Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin.
UK Athletics marked the anniversary by reaffirming “its commitment to zero tolerance of racism and all forms of discrimination”, and Rugby Football League’s chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, wrote an open letter on rugby-league.com admitting his sport needs to do more.
“The truth is that, when spectators returned last week, black faces were few and far between,” said Rimmer.
“The reality is that our sport is not fully representative of our communities – on professional or community pitches, in boardrooms and clubhouses, on the terraces and out in those communities.