How to support black lives in the UK
This is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK. If you want something added to this, please feel free to DM me on twitter (@perkin_amalaraj) so I can make changes to this document. I’ll be updating it whenever I see something new. Thank you @ambivaIcnt for the inspiration for this, she made a really good page that focuses on what people in the US can do to support BLM, which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-0KC83vYfVQ-2freQveH43PWxuab2uWDEGolzrNoIks/preview?pru=AAABcoVD7-E*267N1GFTaHOBB3MzXbs_LQ
Call/Email MPs to question their stance on the murder of George Floyd
Look around and see if your MP has spoken out to protest the murder of George Floyd.Check Twitter, Facebook and local news to see if they have spoken out against it. Go to https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/ to see how your MPs vote on different issues. If they haven’t spoken out against the murder of George Floyd, ask them why with this email template. You can find their email addresses at: https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies
Make sure to add your address when you send this to your MP; the spam filters on an MP’s email prevent people from emailing them without a return address. Put it at the bottom of your email that you send to them to make sure it gets through.
Dear [MP’S NAME],
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m a(n) [OCCUPATION] who has lived in [YOUR CONSTITUENCY] for [LENGTH OF TIME]. Over the past [X] days, the riots in Minneapolis have not only shown the world the systemic racism that is still pervasive in modern societies, it has also exposed the indifference that people in power have towards it. Many who claim to represent the people of the UK have not made any motion to show their support for black people who still suffer from the institutionalised racism that still exists in the UK. Since you are my MP, I want to ask why you have not yet taken a stance on the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police. Is there anything preventing you from speaking out against it? Can the people of our constituency expect to hear you speak out on this matter soon? I am expecting a detailed response to these questions.
It is easy for people in the UK to look at what happens in the US and say “it’s not as bad in the UK, so there’s no reason to complain”. But this simply isn’t true. According to the Institute of Race Relations, police are 28x more likely to use Section 60 stop-and-search powers, where officers don’t require suspicion that a person has been involved in a crime, against black people than white people (http://www.irr.org.uk/research/statistics/criminal-justice/). On top of this, BAME people die disproportionately as a result of use of force or restraint by the police (https://www.inquest.org.uk/bame-deaths-in-police-custody). As an MP, it is your duty to serve and help the people in your constituency. And as a member of your constituency, it is my duty to ask what you’re doing to help. So, what exactly have you done to combat racism in the UK on a national and local level? Have you introduced any legislation in parliament that actively aims to either fight racism or lift people of colour out of a disadvantaged position? What measures have you taken to ensure that racism within our community isn’t allowed to thrive? I would also like detailed responses to these questions.
I want you to understand how important the issue of racism is to me. The systematic oppression of nonwhite people needs to be actively fought against if we as a country truly believe that all people are born equal. The inaction of politicians to fight racism is not something that any reasonable person can stand for anymore. If you set out to make a change, it can happen. But it won’t happen if you stand by and let it happen.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I hope you take the issues I have raised seriously. I look forward to reading your response.
Black Lives Matter.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
[YOUR ADDRESS HERE]
Even if your MP has spoken out against the killing of George Floyd, questioning what they have done to fight racism in the Uk is still vital. Feel free to use any part of the email template to hold your MPs to account.
Some Info on Racism in the UK
UK groups who fight racism
Educate yourself for free
Petitions to sign