Thank you to Sabine Gupta who has prepared the below account of the BLM protest in Worcester on Saturday, 13th June:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King,Jr.
As part of the Black Lives Matter – a peaceful protest was organised by young people in Worcestershire on June 13th and held at the Worcester Racecourse. The organisers, among them included a number of WSFC students, had worked very hard to ensure that the event was very well managed and that social distancing was maintained.
The organisers and those who spoke at the event, demonstrated that those British values; of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, as well as having mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith, were reflected in what was said. The speakers called for an opening up of dialogue, for people to stand together as allies, to respect other people’s views, to advocate for change and not to remain silent any longer on the issues of institutional racism that can be found in society today. The need to ‘unpack internalised racism’ with the call for justice and for change but not for violence
The micro-aggressions of racism that include passing comments about a Black person’s hair or touching it, commenting on the way they speak, the way that they dress, – were clearly highlighted in a poem by a speaker written, when she was 15 years old, struck a powerful and emotional chord with the audience.
In the words of a poem written by Maro Itoje, the England rugby player:
There comes a time
When fear must turn to bravery
When thoughts must turn to belief
When this belief must take action
When strangers turn to friends
When friends turn to foes
When joy fulfils your heart
When anger fills your heart
When one must stand up and lead
When one must sit back and listen
There comes a time, when the time must be taken.
Those WSFC students, who were involved with the organisation and management of the peaceful protest, have shown that they have the leadership skills to do so and the knowledge and understanding of the issues that face the Black community to make their voice heard. They are the ones who are standing up and advocating for change and should be heard.
“Our greatest ability as humans is not to change the world; but to change ourselves” – Mahatma Gandhi