The weekend’s windy, wet weather failed to deter #BLM campaigners in Porthcawl, where a peaceful, planned, socially distanced campaign went ahead despite the inclement weather.
Campaigners heard from speakers who gave powerful speeches and read poetry to call for change and express their solidarity with the BAME community. Campaigners of all ages were keen to stress the need for greater equality in freedom and opportunity, justice for victims and demanding an end to both hidden and overt racism, locally, nationally and across the globe.
Organiser Chloe Shaye Rees said:
“People imagine this is ‘America’s issue’. It isn’t. It’s not just historic, either, the modern day facts speak for themselves:
- Between April 2018 and March 2019, there were 4 stop and searches for every 1,000 White people, compared with 38 for every 1,000 Black people;
- The Windrush generation are still fighting for justice, despite empty promises by the UK Government. Less than 5% of those owed compensation have received a payout;
- Black prisoners are 60% more likely to be subjected to physical force by prison officers.
“I could continue, with police brutality and shootings in the US, a lack of enthusiasm for pursuing culprits who murder black citizens in the UK, stiffer sentences for black defendants, a report showing that prejudice is impacting on the high rates of COVID-19 deaths among the BAME community, the list is far from exhaustive but the facts show clearly that black lives don’t matter and we say they should. This blatant racism is simply not acceptable in 2020 and we won’t stop campaigning until racism and discrimination ends everywhere.”
The group also heard why the oft-touted slogan “all lives matter” merely detracts from the issue at this time. Chloe explains:
“If my left leg was bleeding, nobody would treat my right leg so it didn’t feel left out. Yes, all lives matter, but we believe that until black lives matter, all lives don’t. We hope that today’s peaceful protest, following strict social distancing guidelines, will help raise awareness in our community – and we’ll keep fighting until the spectre of racism in the UK ends once and for all.”
To learn more about Porthcawl for Black Lives Matter, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/304855604015246/
All Images by Anna Arrieta