I believe that the best voices to listen to in the current situation following the murder of George Floyd are from the community affected. As a member of Reading Labour Party and a Reading Labour Councillor however I am signing up to this statement in solidarity:
Black and Asian members of the Reading and District Labour Party wish to express their outrage over the callous murder of George Floyd which took place on 25 May 2020. This horrific and abominable event is not isolated. It personifies systemic racism and police violence all over the world including here in the UK, on our home turf. We stand in complete solidarity with Floyd’s family and the Black Lives Matter network in condemning the actions that led to his death which have sparked global protests against racism.
Black people are 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched and receive harsher sentences across the justice system. Black people are over-represented in school exclusions and underrepresented in good educational outcomes. Black people are less likely to be represented in senior leadership roles and more likely to die from Covid-19. This is what structural racism looks like.
In response, we urge our local civic leaders, businesses and other external organisations to identify and tackle processes and procedures that lead to the unjust inequalities which we experience on a daily basis. We are ever ready to have an open dialogue in leading and facilitating the changes that are so desperately needed. We ask individuals to listen to our experiences and reflect on what they can do to support our cause.
We will grieve the killing of George Floyd and remember him by meaningfully engaging with Black people and other diverse communities to push for the implementation of fair criminal justice policies, inclusive education and training and effective leadership within our police force.
Together we must eradicate racism and build a better future.
Signed in solidarity by:
BAM Officer of Reading & District Labour Party
Chair on behalf of Reading & District Labour Party
Leader of Reading Borough Council on behalf of the Labour Group