Leicester Students' Union stand with Black Lives Matter - Our Statement

 

 

Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Belly Mujinga, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Shukri Abdi, Mark Duggan, Tony McDade, and the list continues... These are all names that have frequented the media, which by now we are familiar with, owing to the injustice in the taking of their lives. Amongst countless others. Each of these incidences were brutal manifestations of anti-black racism and white supremacy, anything stating the contrary is attempting to debase and distance from the true issue at hand: systematic racism and state violence.

 

We stand in solidarity with all those who have been affected by anti-black racism and the violence of white supremacy. This is not an issue only in America, the UK is not innocent of police violence and a disproportionate amount of force used against black people. There have also been a number of deaths of black people in police custody. Black people are twice as likely to die in police custody than their white counterparts. This is unacceptable.

 

We must fight against anti-black racism and white supremacy in all its manifestations. Statements without actions are empty, so what is the SU doing to fight anti-black racism? As a Students’ Union Executive Officer team, we have endeavoured to centre the fight against anti-black racism in our work both when it comes to the University as well as the SU itself. No institution is exempt or immune to the racism entrenched in their structures; we must have accountability in this and work to change it. We are working to Decolonise the Curriculum, to ensure mental health services are inclusive and accessible to all our students; we have worked and will continue to work to ensure the voices of our Black students are heard and amplified. We will continue to listen and adapt to your needs.

 

To our Black students and staff, please remember it is okay take a break and care for yourselves. The news is currently trauma-inducing and immensely draining, so please remember that you are not obligated to educate anyone. Your priority should be your own wellbeing. We have listed a number of support resources available to you below.

 

The purpose of this statement is not to put empty words to you, but instead to urge you to act and educate yourselves. As Angela Davis said: "in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be actively anti-racist." There are numerous ways to show your active support from petitions to donating to the families of the bereaved to pay for their loved ones memorials and their pursuits for justice. We have compiled a list below of resources broken down in to different sections, so please feel free to make use of any of the information or support available to you.

 

In memory of George Floyd and the black lives taken, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,

 

Your Executive Officer team,

Oge, Adnan, Sana, Mia, and Tony.

 

Where can I donate?

These donations are a mixture of memorial funds and bail funds.

The memorial funds are directly linked to the families of the lives taken, for them to pay for funeral costs and for them to get justice.

The bail funds are to free people who have been arrested for protesting against anti-black racism and police violence.

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Breonna Taylor Memorial & Justice Fund

Ahmaud Arbery Memorial & Justice

In Memory of Tony McDade

Donate with no money through adsense

Donate to free protestors

A master list of all places to donate

What petitions can I sign?

To show true solidarity with victims of state violence and police brutality, please sign petitions to ensure those who took their lives are brought to justice.

Justice for Belly Mujinga

Justice for Breonna Taylor

Justice for Tony McDade

Justice for Ahmaud Arbery

Defund the Police

Further petitions to sign

How can I educate myself further?

It is paramount that people take this time to educate themselves in what it means to be anti-racist and how we can begin to dismantle the oppressive systems that allow these injustices to occur.

Books

• Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race - Renni Eddo-Lodge

• Brit-ish - Afua Hirsch

• How to be Anti-Racist - Ibram X. Kendri

• Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire - Akala

• Me and White Supremacy - Layla F. Saad

• White Fragility - Robin DiAngela

• Freedom is a Constant Struggle - Angela Y. Davis

• So you want to talk about race - Ijeoma Oluo

• When They Call You a Terrorist - Patrisse Khan-Cullors

• Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

• Women, Class and Race - Angela Y. Davis

• The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander

• From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

• The End of Policing - Alex S Vitale Free e-book (Verso)

• Are Prisons Absolete? – Angela Y. Davis

 

Further free black revolutionary texts

More resources (Books & Video)

 

TV Shows & Movies

• 13th (Netflix)

• When They See Us (Netflix)

• The Hate U Give

• Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton)

• Fruitvale Station

• Dear White People (Netflix)

Support for Black Students & Staff

This time is traumatic and deeply saddening for Black people – your mental health and wellbeing is important.

We would urge that, if you require it, you apply for mitigating circumstances in this time – if you need help with this, you can email our Executive Officer Team.

Here are a number of resources to help:

Black Female Therapists Offering Free Therapy

A group of Black therapists offering free therapy online – in order to access the free therapy, you can apply here.

Black African, Asian Therapy Network

Directory to find a therapist, however they are not free unfortunately.

Black Thrive

An organisation centred on Black wellbeing, currently offering Zoom drop-in sessions to discuss the effects of lockdown.

Group Therapy for Black Women (and Women of Colour)

Group therapy offered at a lower rate (£22.15 per session), unfortunately this is not specific for Black women and does include women of colour as well.

Protesting

Protesting is an important means to justice. To all those protesting, we stand with you.

If you are planning to protest, then please ensure you are keeping yourself safe when doing so.

Our thread on protesting safely.

A graphic on what to wear and bring.

Legal advice on protesting.