BLACK Lives Matter has been making waves around the world, with protests demanding change, including in Somerset.
BLACK Lives Matter Taunton has been attempting to express that there is a growing need within British culture and society to recognise the importance of our history, heritage and legacy.
In light of recent events in the USA, it is becoming extremely difficult for the UK to ignore the existence of racism and inequalities within the class system that have caused immense economic disparities.
Funding cuts have hit lower income areas affecting schools, housing, childcare, work and support.
No longer can we turn away from another endemic issue of knife crime, which affects our black youth at disproportionate rates across the country, with malignant, unstable environments and austerity being just a few potential causes.
Lastly, immigration has been a much-debated subject in our pubs, workplaces and around our dinner tables.
While a common subject among most, fear, anger, xenophobia and racism tend to rear their ugly heads.
These may not necessarily be, unlike our counterparts over the pond, overt comments of hatred, rage and explicit bias, rather comments might be covert, nuanced and implicit in nature.
Black Lives Matter Taunton would like to highlight that we will be working to make positive changes on a micro level throughout our local communities, especially as racism/racist attitudes are tenacious here.
We look to collaborate with other UK BLM branches to affect change at a macro level.
With deaths in police custody, police brutality, stop and searches, knife crime and hate crime, it is a stark reminder why we need to persist in the pursuit for equality and anti-racism.
One way we are currently gathering information about racism is by distributing our survey.
The purpose of our survey is to research and investigate racism in Somerset.
The factors we are using to determine our results are looking into familial surroundings, social groups, diversity in the workplace, quality of education, experiences with police and racial incidents.
We will be travelling around various towns in Somerset with our pop-up stand in order to create beneficial relationships with the public.
This survey will support and aid us in creating projects we are planning for the near future.
Our upcoming event will be focusing on Black History Month, with an emphasis on making it inclusive and accessible for all. Other plans are for working with families and the school curriculum.
Black Lives Matter Taunton has contacted local councillors to reach out for their involvement, and the march on August 29 was to bring awareness to diversity and showcase how integral it is to integrate our community.
We aim to breathe life back into positive unifying action, cultivate better education, support and transform families to be better equipped at dealing with racism and reform rural communities to recognise that people from different cultures, who are different colours, or from different walks of life, are to be embraced.
Understanding their presence is not an invasion, deemed in need of hostility and fear, rather curiosity, joy and celebration.
Human rights are fundamental and in a first-world country, we shouldn’t still be here demanding them.
Black Lives Matter Taunton, like others, is demanding change. Now.
And we will continue to work towards progress.
BLACK LIVES MATTER TAUNTON