Saturday, 13 June 2020

'Skipping Katie' was NEVER a target for Black Lives Matters solidarity demonstration in Harrow

Today's Black Lives Matter solidarity demonstration in Harrow Town Centre (Graham Durham Facebook)
While rightwing thugs were fighting police in Central London, Harrow residents held a peaceful solidarity Black Lives Matter event in Harrow Town Centre this morning.

The organisers from Harrow Labour Left had arranged to meet at the statue of 'Skipping Katie' in the pedestrianised section of St Anne's Road - a well know local landmark dating from the 1980s LINK.

However, following recent events the Council boarded Katie up, giving rise to social media speculation over why Black Lives Matter were targeting her: 'What has she got to do with slavery?'

Laughable in a way but also illustrating how on edge people are at present.

Following calls on social media for Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick, a Harrow Labour councillor who supported the event to resign, one of the organisers, Mizanur Rahman yesterday tried to clarify the matter:
My public statement regarding Harrow's Black Lives Matter demonstration tomorrow.

The below is my response to a post in a local Dacebook group that is spreading misinformation about the statue that we will be demonstrating around, fear, and calling one of our councillors to be sacked for supporting this BLM demonstration
"Hi Guys,
I am part of the organising team behind this.

Firstly, The statue will be safe because we are not protesting against this specific statue. This location was chosen as the place for the static, demonstration to take place because its in the middle of the town centre...Rest assured its nothing to do with the statue.

Secondly, there will be marshalls telling people to keep 2 metres apart as well as handing out masks and gloves.

Thirdly it was not Pamela's idea. There are people from BAME communities in Harrow who wanted to show public solidarity with Black Lives Matter and therefore it is they who are organising it & want this to go ahead.

Fourthly, if people feel so strongly about social distancing & mass gatherings then please also make a public call to close down all the parks, and join a national campaign to close down all the beaches. Because it seems to me that people will break social distancing rules when it comes to recreation, which the government will tolerate, but not when it comes to showing solidarity on issues affecting BAME communities or demanding political change.

We are not expecting masses of people to turn up and those that do will be reminded throughout the demo to keep 2 metres apart from everyone."
The comments on some social media continued often becoming quite ridiculous with some seemingly trying to stir things up. The video below should put an end to such comments and instead allow the focus to be Harrow residents gesture of solidarity with the boroughs Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community.
Thanks to Hussain Akhtar and the Harrow Monitoring Group for the video below of the demonstration. LINK

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