Camden Council lit up its King’s Cross HQ in purple light on Tuesday night in a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters worldwide and to highlight the “systemic racism” that costs Black lives.
With protests taking place at locations around the borough and in central London as campaigners continue to condemn the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in the USA, 5 Pancras Square took on a purple hue – and the council leader pointed to hate crime in the borough as she warned racism “is not only an American disease”.
The leader, Cllr Georgia Gould (Lab, Kentish Town) said: “I know our community will be feeling heartbreak, anger, and powerlessness watching more black lives stolen because of a failure to deal with systemic racism.
“In the last week the world watched George Floyd murdered by a police officer meant to protect him and uphold justice. And we have seen the horror of a US President, who has courted white supremacists, inciting violence against protestors rather than addressing racial injustices.”
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Cllr Gould also spoke of the rising trend of racist hate crime in Camden, and the impact of coronavirus on BAME communities.
She said: “Racist hate crime is on the rise in our borough. The streets that feel safe to me feel very different to some in our community.
“Covid-19 has shone a new light on existing inequalities, with a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and Minority (BAME) communities, partly as a result of long-term social, economic and health inequalities in our community.
The councillor added the town hall was working with its Black Workers’ group to increase representation across it’s hierarchy, and committed to working to address the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities. She also added: “And we will continue to work to ensure that black history is celebrated not just as a one off but all year round, that we expand political representation, that every organisation in our borough has a strategy to increase diversity, and that we are investing in our BAME communities and their futures.”
The councillor’s words are borne out by the news that the Met Police are currently appealing for help identifying four men in relation to an alleged racist hate crime on Hampstead Heath.
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