Buildings across the city will light up tonight.
Following Tuesday’s act of solidarity, which saw the historic Wythenshawe Hall lit purple in protest against racial inequality, civic buildings across all ten Manchester boroughs will be lit up again, in a bid to continue the anti-racism efforts in the UK.
The city has come together this week following the death of Minnesota man George Floyd, who was brutally murdered by a white police officer, who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes after arresting him. Floyd’s tragic death follows those of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, sparking global protests around the world against systematic racism – which many innocent lives have fallen victim to over the years.
In addition to the light-up, Manchester residents will also be participating in a peaceful protest this Saturday, similar to those that took place last week, with the aim of further continuing the awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. The protest will take place with social distancing guidelines in mind, as the city comes together as one for the important human rights cause.
Greater Manchester leaders have come together to release a statement about the cause, saying: “To show our sympathy with George’s family, and our support for Black Lives Matter, we have today agreed to coordinate the lighting of civic buildings across our 10 boroughs on Friday evening, following on from the example of Trafford Council, and Salford and Manchester City Councils.
“But this moment demands more from us and our gesture will mean more if it is accompanied by our own reflection and action.
“First, recognising the under-representation of our Black community in decision-making in Greater Manchester, we commit to strengthening our dialogue with the Black community and to working with Operation Black Vote’s Leadership Programme to improve representation.”
The leaders also expressed that there would be a new “focus” on health inequality across the region (particularly in the face of the pandemic), in addition to pledging to build confidence in the Greater Manchester Police force, who’ll now be required to publish a quarterly Race Equality Policing Report.
“We have a long and proud history in Greater Manchester of confronting discrimination head-on. This is a moment to challenge ourselves to do more. The best way of marking the life of George Floyd is with a promise of real change.”
[Featured image: Manchester City Council]