George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis a month ago today.
Seeing his last few moments and hearing his final words broadcast across the globe has sparked a renewed revulsion at continuing racial injustice and focused attention on the Black Lives Matter movement.
For those of us who do not have to confront racism and discrimination every day in anything we do it has been a long overdue wake up call that we still have work to do to wipe out inequality in this country.
It’s on all of us to make sure we turn this moment into lasting change – not only raising awareness but taking swift action
We must make sure we turn this moment into lasting change. It is time to raise awareness, to pursue swift, effective action to end racial injustice.
The government has announced it will hold a review into race inequality. But that is not enough. We need action. We need a Race Equality Strategy for the whole of the United Kingdom – a strategy that does not avoid injustice, but tackles it head on, and defeats it.
We must build a fairer, more equal society. To do that Liberal Democrats will have to take the fight into every area of our society. As we learn more and the campaign grows so too will our policies and the list of actions we need – we defeat racial injustice wherever it lurks in modern Britain.
Ending Suspicion-less Stop and Search
On too many occasions stop and search seems to mean being black is enough to suspect someone of being a criminal.
Based on the latest Home Office figures, a black person is 47 times more likely to be stopped and searched under Section 60 than a white person.
Suspicion-less stop and search not only doesn’t work, but the disproportionate impact of these laws undermines police officers’ relationships with the communities they serve – the very relationships needed to prevent crime. The Liberal Democrats have introduced a Bill to scrap this flawed, unjust law.
Action for BAME communities being hit hardest by COVID-19
The disproportionate effect that the coronavirus pandemic is having on BAME communities had shone a stark spotlight on racial injustices in Britain today.
The Government must act urgently to address this disproportionate impact on BAME communities, and to solve the deep-seated inequalities and injustices they face.
It is appalling that the Conservatives’ discriminatory Hostile Environment policies and their refusal to suspend the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ rule are preventing migrants and other BAME people from accessing the healthcare they need during this pandemic. We have been pushing since the start of the pandemic to get the government to change course on this issue, and provide greater clarity on steps they are taking to support those most vulnerable.
Campaigning to end the Hostile Environment
The Windrush Scandal demonstrated how shamefully people who have every right to live in the UK – disproportionately people from BAME communities – are treated under the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment.
Discriminatory government policies wrongly deny people access to NHS treatment, housing and other services.
Innocent people have been made homeless, detained and even deported. The police share personal data with the Home Office, deterring victims and witnesses from coming forward. This has to stop.
The Windrush Scandal should have put an end to the Hostile Environment once and for all. It hasn’t. Liberal Democrats will work night and day until we change it.