As an anti-racist organisation committed to the abolition of the police, we want to express our solidarity and support for protesters in the US and for the many protesting and speaking out here in the UK.
It is necessary to speak up in the UK to stand in international solidarity with our siblings in the US, but also to draw attention to the racist nature of policing in the UK. Radical change is long overdue.
We are aware of the many public protests in the UK. Whilst we support people’s right to protest in this way, we wanted to be clear on our position. We have been reluctant to call or encourage street protest because of the dangers of Covid-19, and the particular vulnerability of Black communities and communities of colour. Whilst we have faith that activists will seek to uphold social distancing measures, we recognise how difficult this can be in practice, especially in interactions with the police, including police kettling. We also think it important that protesters are mindful of the likelihood of police deploying facial recognition at protests, and the ever-present danger of police violence.
As with many of our friends and allies, we were active before these protests, and will continue to be so during and after. We are working alongside other monitoring groups to develop resources related to Covid-19 police powers. We also continue with building our campaign for Police Free Schools in collaboration with Kids of Colour, and we continue to work with Resistance Lab as we build towards a campaign to abolish the use of lethal tasers.
We encourage those who are interested in our work to look out for details of our community meeting on the 16th June and please come along to find out more.
Those who do choose to protest – all power to you. Please look out for our bust-cards, and get in touch if you need some. Ensure your face is covered, wear black where possible, have water, some snacks, and a charge pack with you, and look out for each other. Please don’t film yourself or other people, and do not take photos of people’s faces. Write the number of a lawyer on your arm, in case you are taken into police custody.
Love and solidarity,