On Saturday 27th June local people came out for a second #BlackLivesMatter protest in the city, this time at the Blue Clock in Hanley.
Around 150 people congregated to hear speeches and performances in between chants of ‘Black lives matter!’ and ‘No justice! No peace!’ Speakers talked passionately about the historic and systemic roots of racism, and made frequent reference to the racist behaviour of the current Lord Mayor – Jackie Barnes – as well as the fascist history of our next Lord Mayor, Melanie Baddeley.
After the speeches, one of the organisers asked the crowd to #TakeTheKnee, and it was made very clear that the surrounding police were not welcome to join us in this act. Following this, we took a few minutes to silently reflect on the loss of black lives at the hands of police officers, including the life of local man Adrian McDonald.
Throughout the demo there was a group of about six fascists who stood behind a police line and looked on. But as per expectation, the demo was a peaceful and a defiant show of the anti-racist sentiment running through our city. The fact that this was the second protest in less than a month is testament to that!
The speakers on the day also said a lot about anti-racism more widely, and how people must organise properly to fight against racism to ensure that the #BLM movement doesn’t die down in the way that similar movements have in the past. This is one reason why NorSCARF’s July meeting will have guest slots for all the local #BLM organisers, including from Keele University, Stafford and Stoke. Join our facebook group or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
See The Sentinel’s coverage of the event here