8th June 2020

Black Lives Matter – Edinburgh

Many have heard of events in the United States which has resulted in deaths of people of colour in police custody.  A problem which is not unique to those who live within the US.  It remains a matter which affects us all.

George Floyd, from what I have read, is a 46-year-old who was born in North Carolina.  He lived in Houston, Texas, and had moved to Minneapolis to find work.  He was known to loved ones as “Big Floyd” and was the father to a six-year-old daughter who lives in Houston with her mother.   On May the 25th, George died at the hands on the Minneapolis Police Department; when a policeman knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, despite the victim’s cries of “I can’t breathe”.

©Timothy C Aikman

The footage which was captured of George Flyod’s assault has sparked protests across the United States and around he globe, with demonstrators saying that this was another example of black people being targeted by authorities because of their race.  Yesterday, I went to such a protest; a peaceful event from which I am left with the thought that abuse is abuse.  It doesn’t care about colour.  Persecution is still persecution, abuse is still abuse and a bully is still a bully.

This morning I came across the following statement issued by the University of Edinburgh:

As a University community we are outraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd. Our thoughts are with Mr Floyd and his family.  Mr Floyd’s death is one more example of the senseless loss of yet another Black life as a result of societal and systemic racism. Those responsible must be held accountable. While we recognise this to have happened in the US, the responsibility to address racism and to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion is as applicable here in the UK.

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