On Tuesday 25th May a memorial event was organised by BLM for Stoke to mark twelve months since George Floyd was brutally murdered by police.
Around 50 people gathered at Hanley Park bandstand, the same place where around 700 people came out for the first BLM protest last year.
There were many powerful speeches made about how much has been achieved in the last year and how much more there is still to be done. The final message was one of positivity and defiance, with attendees ending the event with raised fists and chants of ‘Black Lives Matter!’ See a clip of local poet, Jason N Smith, reciting ‘The Diseased’, an incredibly pertinent piece for the occasion.
As well as in Stoke there were various actions across the country, many of which were done as part of Stand Up To Racism’s call for a week of action. A report about activities is available here as well as lots of fantastic photos of people taking action in their workplaces.
There was also a call during the Hanley Park event for people to join the local #KillTheBill protests that have been happening in Stoke, with the next one being Saturday 29th May from 1pm at Hanley bus station. This day will be another national day of action and is an important opportunity to urge the government to remove the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This Bill was formulated in direct response to the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement and poses a huge potential threat to anti-racist and anti-fascist activity. NorSCARF will be holding a meeting about this topic with some fantastic guest speakers joining us. Everyone’s welcome to join – get in touch if you’d like access details.