THE BLACK Lives Matter cause was brought to the heart of Saddleworth as activists took part in a local protest.
What happens in the area may seem as far removed from the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, USA – some 3,860 miles away – as you can get. But the fallout was brought to Uppermill as members of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) Mossley and Saddleworth branch took part in a demonstration.
On Wednesday, June 10, they and others held placards outside the village’s Methodist church and chanted, ‘Black Lives Matter.’
They also took a knee, the gesture that has become associated with the movement over recent years.
Mathew Hampson, of the XR Mossley and Saddleworth group, who works as a nurse and is a steward for the Unison trade union, was one of those who took to his knee.He said: “We were protesting in Uppermill because we are sickened by the murder of George Floyd in the USA.
“We took the knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter activists who demand a world free of racism, poverty and injustice.”
George Floyd’s death sparked the recent protests after a video on May 25 showed policeman Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck and back as he pleaded for his life.He has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other arresting officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Officers responded to a call from a teenage grocery storeworker who alleged that Floyd had used a forge $20 note.In a statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department, the officers responded to a report of a “forgery in progress.”
The death sparked protests around the world, with some in the UK turning violent and seeing statues of people linked to the slave trade pulled down, notably one of Edward Colston in Bristol.