Labour councillors began today’s Cabinet meeting with a moment of reflection to mark the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the responsibility of each of us to tackle racism, prejudice, and injustice.
Councillor Martin Bond spoke passionately about the importance of this issue, and Council Leader David Baines made the following statement:
Events in America have brought the issues of racism and injustice, and in particular the Black Lives Matter Movement, to the front of all our minds. The fight for equality and social justice matters just as much here in St Helens Borough as it does anywhere else.
Black communities here in the UK disproportionately suffer from inequality, whether it’s in health, housing or education, and this can’t continue.
The ‘white lives matter’ banner which flew over the Etihad Stadium on Monday was grossly offensive, because it twists and diminishes what is a genuine and necessary call for support from the black community.
‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean that only black lives matter, or that black lives matter more. Just that black lives matter, and that the injustice and inequality black people still experience is unacceptable.
It’s up to all of us to play our part in fighting racism, prejudice and injustice. We have to try to listen, learn, and to act.
As Leader I’m determined that St Helens Borough Council will play its part. We’ve led the #NoPlaceForHate and #BetterThanThat campaigns for some time, and I encourage all residents to take the pledge and read more about the difference we can each make at www.safersthelens.org.uk.”
Watch the Cabinet meeting here: http://moderngov.sthelens.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=193&MId=7475&Ver=4