Sadiq Khan leads anniversary tributes to George Floyd
- Credit: Sean Pollock
Sadiq Khan, Diane Abbott, and Meg Hillier all gave tributes on the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
Hackney and Islington councils also commemorated the death with communities vowing to support black populations.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds in Minneapolis, in America, on May 25, 2020.
His death sparked worldwide protests against racism. Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, including murder, in April.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “One year on from the shocking killing of George Floyd, my thoughts are with his family and friends, and everyone affected by his brutal murder.
“The gut-wrenching footage of George Floyd’s final moments sparked outrage across the globe. It sent a chilling ripple through our black communities.
“The emotions, frustrations and pain it brought to the surface illustrates just how far we have to go – as a city and as a society – to rid ourselves of the scourge of racism.”
He added: “As we seek to recover and rebuild from a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted our minority communities, it’s essential that we continue to raise our voices against racism.
“And say loud and clear that Black Lives Matter.”
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Hackney Council held an online vigil on their Instagram, and also released a statement.
Part of this read: “We will not let George Floyd’s murder, a life cruelly taken to pass in vain.
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“His legacy will remind us of the work we must do as politicians and members of the community to be active in the fight for equality and justice.
“Today we unite with those around the world who continue to demand that all Black Lives Matter.”
Islington Council published a tweet thread during the anniversary day. The authority also organised a memorial event with a panel of speakers.
A spokesman added: “We were glad to see Chauvin found guilty of all charges, but we understand that whilst accountability is a step in the right direction, the fight against racism and injustice must continue.”
‘We have a very long way to go’
Local Labour MPs called for the moment to be a time for change.
Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, said: “George Floyd’s murder one year ago today, and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed, were a turning point.
“One year on and there is lots of unfinished business. Successive governments have excelled at commissioning reports but have failed in fully implementing their findings. We need actions, not words from this Government.
“But this is also too important to leave to the Government alone, we all need to step up and play our part in tackling racism."
Diane Abbott, who represents Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said: "Black Lives Matter has already scored huge successes.
“It was crucial in defeating Trump and has obliged the Biden presidency to tackle the underlying issues of poverty which fuelled support for the movement.
“But progress on tackling racism itself has been much more limited, both in the US and in countries like the UK which was inspired to join in. We still have a very long way to go."