A ‘Take the Knee’ nationwide show of solidarity has been organised by UK charity Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) as part of a socially distanced day of action against racism and to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Brits are urged to take to kneel at their doorsteps this evening at 6pm.
It comes after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US last week and the protests that have followed in the United States and other major cities across the globe.
#TakeTheKnee was inspired by NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who famously chose to kneel rather than stand during the US National Anthem before a game in 2016 to call attention to racial inequality and police brutality, and also mirrors the mark of support seen by activists at recent peaceful protests worldwide.
Announcing the act in a statement via its website, SUTR said: “We are outraged that yet another black person has been killed at the hands of the police in the USA. The events unfolding in the USA are a product of hundreds of years of racism and oppression of black communities, which has led to countless lives lost.”
“We understand the anger that has motivated people to come out and protest across the USA and also here in Britain.”
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SUTR also added that: “The events also take place in the context of black communities disproportionately dying as a result of and infected by coronavirus [and] the highest levels of unemployment, which is rising fast due to the rapid economic contraction taking place, so black people are disproportionately affected by police brutality, unemployment, economic hardship and the coronavirus.”
“We urge all those protesting in solidarity with George Floyd to ensure that they remain socially distanced to protect the people taking part.”
“This is in the best interest of the health and safety of our communities [and] local Stand Up To Racism groups organising protests must ensure they are socially distanced, and should disperse if it becomes impossible to do so.”
‘Take the Knee’ has seen support gaining traction across social media platforms over the last few days, with many expressing their intent to join in this evening.
Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up To Racism, said: “Racism is the underlying condition that continues to kill black and BAME communities. Take the knee at 6pm because there is a boot on the neck of millions of people in the BAME community.”
“Part of the cure for the virus of racism is to embrace anti-racism and anti-fascism.”
#TakeTheKnee will take place at 6pm this evening across the UK.
You can find out more information via the Stand Up To Racism website here.