Cambridge Labour councillors have been showing their support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, joining in local protests and calling on both local authorities and national government to act.
County Councillor for Arbury, Jocelynne Scutt, seconded a motion supporting Black Lives Matter at this week’s full council meeting and calling on the county council to recognise the discrimination faced by BAME groups and take concrete steps to end it.
“As someone who came to politics through the struggle for women’s rights, I know how important it is to stand up for those who are oppressed and marginalised. Twenty years after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, treatment of the BAME community in this country remains poor. They are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, arrested, put through the criminal justice system, face racist abuse. They are also more likely to be victims of Covid 19. They are discriminated against in the workplace, in terms of employment, whether appointment or promotion and wages and salaries.”
Jocelynne applauded the work of Cambridgeshire libraries in honouring Black History Month and noted that the County Council motion called for more resources and support for this important project.
“Racism should be as unacceptable as any form of violence. Unless we accept what past rulers of this country and our society as a whole has done – and continues to do – to generations of Black and BAME families, we cannot even hope to create a fair, equal and just society.”
The county council motion follows the motion proposed by Cllr Baiju Thittala (East Chesterton) at last Thursday’s meeting of the city council. Baiju made a really powerful speech in support of the motion, calling for genuine equality for BAME communities, which you can listen to here. The motion was received unanimous support from all city councillors.
Councillors have regularly taken part in open air Take The Knee protests, including last night’s Cambridge Stand Up To Racism rally on Parkers Piece where City Cllrs Nicky Massey and Dave Baigent joined members of the Fire Brigades Union and others to protest racism and discrimination against BAME communities.