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Black Lives Matter — We stand for justice and equality

June 5, 2020 1:50 PM
By Barnet Liberal Democrats

llkg (Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash)

In the past week, we have all shared in the anger at the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis. The way that US police forces have responded to lawful and peaceful protests has been nothing short of shocking. We stand in solidarity with black communities in the US, and are united in our condemnation of the violence, racism and harassment they face. And we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter across the world, across the UK, and in our own borough of Barnet.

This moment presents a chance to turn our attention to racism within our own society, and to redouble our efforts to extinguish it. We have a moral obligation to speak out where we as a country are falling short. Why are 26% of instances of police using firearms against black people? Why are 51% of young men in custody in the UK from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds? The 2017 Lammy Report concluded that "BAME individuals still face bias, including overt discrimination, in parts of the justice system".

More recently the we have seen that BAME people are 54% more likely than white people to be fined under the new lockdown laws. And in Barnet, in particular, we cannot ignore the fact that, according to recent figures from Public Health England, Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting BAME communities. BAME people make up some 40% of the Barnet population, and as such have been severely impacted by this disease for reasons that remain unclear. We support calls for a public inquiry into this issue as we urgently need answers for how to tackle this situation.

This fight needs to make a real change, and the Liberal Democrats will support the movement to bring justice and equality for black communities. Black Lives Matter.