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Hackney Council criticised for cleaning Black Lives Matter graffiti

PUBLISHED: 15:45 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 03 June 2020

The Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya Dave

The Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya Dave

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Hackney Council has been criticised for cleaning graffiti supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya DaveThe Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya Dave

Workers were spotted washing the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ off a wall in Forest Road less than two days after they were painted and the morning after the Town Hall was lit up purple in solidarity with the movement.

Black Lives Matter has hit headlines around the world for protests in the wake of the death of a black man called George Floyd.

He died when a white policemen knelt on his neck and George said “I can’t breathe”.

Hackney’s cabinet member for the public realm, Cllr Jon Burke, stressed the graffiti was being treated like any other: “While I personally agree with the sentiment expressed, we’ll continue to treat all graffiti equally and remove it wherever we have the power to do so.”

Hackney Town Hall was lit up purple in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Picture: Hackney mayor Philip Glanville Hackney Town Hall was lit up purple in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Picture: Hackney mayor Philip Glanville

Priya Dave, a resident overlooking the graffiti site, said: “It’s shocking, its shows the messages the are putting out are just virtue signalling, it doesn’t match up with the reality of what’s happening.

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“I think Hackney is one of the most diverse boroughs in London and they are not truly standing in solidarity with black residents.”

She stressed it was not the workmen’s fault, who were just “doing what they were told”.

The Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya DaveThe Black Lives Matter graffiti in Forest Road. Picture: Priya Dave

“I feel as a community, this is great place to live and people get on with one another really well, so it’s a shame when the council doesn’t support its residents.”

Alongside the purple Town Hall lighting, Hackney mayor Philip Glanville and his cabinet released a statement: “Hackney has a strong tradition of standing up to racism and we are a proud, diverse borough but the death of Mr Floyd highlights the injustices faced by black communities and how vital it is that we never stop fighting discrimination and hate.

“This awful event happened thousands of miles away in the USA, but we know that there have been events much closer to home over the years that have caused similar anger and distress.

“We will not tolerate discrimination in our borough or our city, and we stand against it across the world.”

Hackney Town Hall was lit up purple in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Picture: Hackney mayor Philip Glanville Hackney Town Hall was lit up purple in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Picture: Hackney mayor Philip Glanville

This comes as Hackney Stand Up To Racism and Facism was scheduled to hold a vigil for George outside Hackney Town Hall on June 3.


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