'One year on we pause to reflect on racial violence, race hate, and racial injustice in our midst.’
A Bristol Quaker organised a vigil to mark the anniversary of the death of George Floyd last week.
Friends were among those who gathered for the Lantern Vigil of Remembrance at College Green in Bristol on 25 May to hear speakers and poets, with time for reflection and sharing. One of the organisers, Ros Martin from Frenchay Meeting, was also one of the protestors who received an apology and substantial damages from the Avon and Somerset police for her unlawful arrest outside the magistrates court last month.
Ros Martin told the Friend, on behalf of a coalition of Bristol groups known as Glad Colstons Gone, ‘May 25 marks the brutal annihilation of George Floyd’s life at the hands of US police. This horrific death of a black man triggered outrage and Black Lives Matter marches of solidarity around the world, and in Bristol, the toppling of the Colston statue. One year on we pause to reflect on racial violence, race hate, and racial injustice in our midst.’
The Quaker peace education team also encouraged people to light candles to mark the anniversary as part of a Candle for Justice prayer initiative, organised by Churches Together in England. The day was marked with vigils and demonstrations around the world. Protesters took to their knees in Brixton, London, while community events took place in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, the Floyd family also met with US president Joe Biden, where he played with George Floyd’s young daughter, Gianna.
Ros Martin was unlawfully arrested last month after demonstrating in support of the ‘Colston Four’, who were arrested for damaging the statue of Edward Colston, who traded in enslaved people.
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