So what can we do to make a stand against racism?
Write to your MP
Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International are calling for the UK government to halt the sale and export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields – which are being used against protesters – to the US.
One way of adding weight to that call is by writing personally to your MP demanding the immediate suspension of exports, being sure to include your full name and address so they can see you are an actual constituent. Find your local MP at writetothem.com.
Stand Up To Racism protests
Wednesday 3rd June was proclaimed a day of action in the UK, with socially distanced protests to show solidarity with those resisting racism in the US and against the policies that have led to the disproportionate number of BAME deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic in UK. Stand Up To Racism local groups are aiming to organise further socially-distanced events. Go to the Facebook page to find local events.
For any interested parties in the local Bournemouth and Poole area, there is a Peaceful Gathering in Solidarity organised by the UNISON Pan Dorset Black Members Group in conjunction with BCP to be held on Saturday 6th June from 11:00am for 45 minutes. Strict social distancing will be practised and attendees are advised to wear personal protective equipment. You can read more on the Unison BCP Branch Facebook Page.
Join the campaign for an enquiry into BAME deaths
MP Diane Abbott and Stand Up To Racism are campaigning for an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate number of BAME deaths due to Covid-19.
The campaign is calling for:
- A public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on BAME communities.
- The recording of the ethnic background of all Covid-19 patients as recommended by the British Medical Association.
- No end to the lockdown until it is safe to do so.
Support CRER by reading and sharing its work
The Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights (CRER) is a strategic anti-racist organisation based in Scotland, whose policy and research work highlights the evidence of the racial inequalities faced by minority ethnic people.
Its aim is to change the structures that underpin racism and racial inequality and, in the organisation’s own words, “we need all the help we can get”. One of the key ways to do this is to help create sustained awareness of the work that needs to be done.
CRER is asking allies to share its publications and resources with decision makers at your company, organisation, school, university or college. You can also sign up for email updates to hear about free events, training sessions, publications and resources.
Join a membership organisation
Signing up to become a member of an organisation that supports BAME communities and highlights issues of racial inequality means you get access to resources to help educate yourself and others, plus you’re plugged into relevant events, new research and policy-making decisions.
There are a number of organisations to join, although many charge a fee. Race on the Agenda (ROTA) is one of Britain’s leading social policy think-tanks focusing on issues that affect Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. ROTA membership is free, and members are kept up to date with social policy issues affecting BAME communities.
Other excellent organisations are the Runnymead Trust, Resourcing Racial Justice and the Ubele Initiative.
Volunteer with Show Racism the Red Card
Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charity. There are plenty of ways to get involved with the charity, including getting your employer to book an equality training session, joining one of its action weeks campaigning against racism in football, or offering your services as a regular volunteer.
Volunteer with the Africa Centre
The Africa Centre is a charity based in London dedicated to providing the African diaspora, and all people with an interest in Africa, a platform for experiencing events and engaging in discussions on culture, education, business and art. It’s run by small team of full-time staff, and “doesn’t always have the capacity to serve our communities at the levels that we would want to”. Volunteers are always welcome; click here to register your interest in getting involved.
Racism is never acceptable in any form.
Let’s stand together to make a stand.