Anti-racism campaign Stand Up To Racism is encouraging people in the UK to show their support for George Floyd in a really simple way.
The campaign took to Twitter on Tuesday to implore Brits to “take the knee” – a form of protest staged by American football star Colin Kaepernick in 2016 – and hold a sign on your doorstep.
It’s happening at 6pm GMT this evening:
Supported by Labour MP Diane Abbott, the campaign’s Facebook event post encourages participants to “post your photos and videos” with the hashtags #TakeTheKnee #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter.
The initiative aims to highlight the “disproportionate BAME deaths in the Covid-19 crisis in the UK”:
BAME communities are also disproportionately impacted by the rapid economic contraction, as well as police brutality which is not unique to the US as the recent tasering by police of Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara in Greater Manchester shows. BAME communities are also 54 per cent more likely to be fined under coronavirus rules.
The UK has one of the worst death tolls in the world. Around 34 per cent of those that died were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME).
The Facebook page also cites a Financial Times estimate that 64,500 people have died from coronavirus, which “means around 21,000 people from BAME communities have died in the last 10 weeks”.
Abbott tweeted her support for the commemoration of George Floyd:
In the aftermath of George Floyd death at the hands of the American police we must step up the fight against institutional racism here in Britain #BlackLiveMattters
While former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his support for the campaign
Abbott and Stand Up To Racism are calling for an independent public inquiry into disproportionate BAME deaths due to coronavirus.
The initiative comes about after thousands of people took part in Black Lives Matter protests in London’s Trafalgar Square and outside the US embassy on Sunday.
A total of 23 arrests were made on the day – some for breaching coronavirus lockdown laws.