Members of the Cardiff Amnesty Group were proud to join the march against racism in Cardiff on Sunday 20th March. A party atmosphere prevailed as the noisy protest wound its way through the centre of the city in the spring sunshine.
At the heart of the protest, however, was the frustration and anger that fuelled the Black Lives Matter campaign in 2020. Systemic racism is embedded in our own society. The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice here in the UK
Calls were also made to oppose the Policing ‘Crackdown’ Bill which Amnesty International has said will lead to an increase in racial discrimination. Similarly, the Nationality and Borders Bill was roundly condemned as legislation that that will make the UK a less welcoming place for asylum seekers and refugees.
In the UK we are seeing the rise of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. To defeat this, we need mass resistance to racism taking inspiration from the global Back Lives Matter protests, communities mobilising to stop their neighbours being deported and the overwhelming support for footballers and cricketers who have faced institutional racism.
We know that institutional racism exists in the UK and, like any other organisation, Amnesty International isn’t immune to this very real problem. However, we want to build an anti-racist organisation that applies the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do, both in terms of how we operate within AIUK and our campaigning work.