Black Lives Matter Movement Erupts In Wolverhampton
June 8, 2020
Over the last few days, a new movement calling for an end to systemic racism has broken out across the UK, and Wolverhampton has been no exception.
First of all, on Wednesday 3rd over 100 turned out in the rain for a vigil by The Man on The Horse, despite the mistaken decision not to publicise the location of the protest by the organisers. Our leaflets featuring our programme for combatting racism were taken enthusiastically by those attending.
Around 1000 workers and young people then turned out to protest in West Park on Sunday 7th. We were there dishing out posters and leaflets with our demands for a mass movement to defeat racism and the capitalist system that breeds it, with our material running out before the speeches began on the bandstand.
Unfortunately, this approach was not echoed by the platform speakers, many of them adopting an approach based on faith and individual self-improvement.
Over an hour in, large portions of the crowd felt disconnected to this rhetoric. With some leaving, we couldn’t let frustrated workers walk away disenchanted. “The speaker talked about getting your PHD, but how can we dream of that when we can’t afford university?” we argued. People stopped, signing up to our regional zoom meeting and donating handsomely.
When the speeches ended, we whipped out the megaphone and invited anyone to have their say. A young black woman energetically took the megaphone and started a march around the park and to the police station in the city centre, lasting over an hour after the official event ended. Upon arrival, the 100-odd who had passionately followed and shouted for justice, took a minute silence.
The attended youth were not happy with the sermon they’d just received. They wanted to demonstrate their disgust at racism and the distrust in the capitalist system. With protests erupting across the UK, those drawn into action for the first time don’t want this energy to fight racism to evaporate. They need to take true inspiration from those the speakers were quoting (Martin Luther King and Malcom X), much like our impassioned youth did.
We’ll be doing all we can to support future Black Lives Matters protests, including the one scheduled for 3pm on Sunday 28th June in Queen Square.