Mark Blake
Mark Blake

The horrific death of George Floyd is a stark reminder that racism and injustice are still too prominent a feature in our world. Many of us knew this already – but it is playing out now on TV and social media across the globe.

We know the USA’s long history with regard to its treatment of African Americans, but we have seen an increase in racism in our own country too, and a rise in hate crime. The Windrush scandal is our nation’s own shame.

Now, yet again, we need to unite in our opposition and abhorrence of the prejudice that has a devastating effect on our communities. Even now, we are seeing the disproportionate impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on BAME communities.

Policing in a democratic society is a central issue that this case has raised, and it is clear that over a near-decade of peaceful protest, the response from institutions in the USA has been woeful.

The UK has its own challenges, as we in Haringey know only too well. Across the country, it is imperative that our politicians and institutions take these challenges seriously, engage with communities with good faith and respond with real conviction. We are committed to that in our borough.

We hope for a non-violent conclusion to the protests in the USA, that can result in justice not just for George and his family but for African Americans. As for the UK, and our borough, we feel the pain intensely, and we stand in peaceful solidarity. We must all learn from what is happening in the USA.

Cllr Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities

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