Anti-racism campaigners urge Sheffield to show solidarity on anniversary of George Floyd’s death

One year on since the murder of George Floyd, anti-racism campaigners in Sheffield are encouraging people to ‘do something’ to show solidarity against racism.

By Lisa Wong
Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 12:03 pm

Stand Up To Racism Sheffield has called for “every workplace, every college campus, every community in towns and cities across Britain to do something” to demand justice for George Floyd and to oppose racism in the UK.

Sheffielders are expected to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, whilst also remembering other victims who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality, by taking the knee outside Sheffield Town Hall at 6pm today.

Amina, an anti-racism campaigner in the city, said: “It’s been a year since George Floyd’s murder and it was great that the Black Lives Matter movement got people talking about racism and police brutality. But what happened after everyone posted those black squares and agreed to change?

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A demonstration as part of the Black Lives Matter movement was held at Devonshire Green in Sheffield in June 2020. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“People said they would educate themselves, organisations said they would make their workforces more inclusive etc but I wonder how many actually followed through with any meaningful long term action. In my experience, many saw it as like a tick box exercise – saying they would do one thing made them ‘anti-racist’ in their eyes and that was enough.

“If we go back to 30 years ago, we’re almost in the same position with Stephen Lawrence’s death.”

Stand Up To Racism says that Black Lives Matter has exposed racism in the UK just as much as in the USA. For example, it says where deaths in police custody are concerned, no British police officer has ever faced prosecution.

When Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder, campaigners said it signified “just the beginning” in the fight for justice.

Black Lives Matter demonstration in Devonshire Green, Sheffield.

And in the UK, calls have been made to reopen investigations into deaths in police custody with people slamming the Government’s overall response in tackling racism and discrimination.

A spokesperson for Stand Up To Racism, said: “Instead of addressing this, the British government responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by launching a major racist offensive with a ‘Race Report’ that denies the reality of institutional racism, a Police and Crime bill targeting anti-racists and a wave of legislation attacking refugee and migrant rights.”