Belfast Solidarity Demonstration for Baltimore - No Justice, No Peace

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Date:

On May 5th the Belfast branch of the Workers Solidarity Movement organised a demo and protest in solidarity with Baltimore.

We arranged candles in a circle with flowers in the middle as a vigil to those who have been murdered as a result of police and state-sponsored violence and racism. We then played interviews from Baltimore and Black America out on a speaker in order to allow those directly affected to speak for themselves.

Every 28 hours a person of colour (POC) is murdered by the police force in America. So far 157 known POC have been murdered - we printed out their names to show that they are not just numbers or statistics. Instead of reporting this the media and those with privilege have decided that it is much more important to talk about looting. This is the narrative in a neo-liberal, racist, society that places profit over the lives of people. In a society that is founded upon violence to act violently is to act in self-defence. Freddie Gray didn’t have the opportunity to act in self-defence against the torture he endured which eventually killed him.

It’s not just black men who we are talking about here. Black women, black transgender women and black sex workers are victims of police and state sponsored violence, misogyny and racism. Last week a black transwoman was arrested and placed in a male holding cell. Mya Hall, had her car shot at and died as a result when she took a wrong turn in early April. The role of white allies is to make society safe for people of colour and minorities. We are to act as allies and support people of colour in smashing the ugly concept and system of white supremacy. If we sit in silence when we hear a racist comment we are doing Freddie Gray, Mya Hall, Michael Brown and the hundreds of thousands of other people who have died at the hands of racism a disgusting disservice.

If you’re not angry you’re not paying attention.

No Justice, No Peace

WORDS: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird