Gedling leader ‘takes the knee’ in support of Black Lives Matter

 Gedling leader ‘takes the knee’ in support of Black Lives Matter

Councillors ‘take the knee’ outside County Hall (IMAGE: LDRS)

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The leader of Gedling Borough Council was one of 40 people who gathered outside County Hall to take a knee in support of Black Lives matter. 

Councillor John Clarke knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, along with the rest of the group. 

This was to reflect the length of time George Floyd’s neck was knelt on before he died. 

The socially-distanced protest was held yesterday evening (Wednesday, July 1)

One of the speakers at the event outside Nottinghamshire County Council’s headquarters was Errol Henry, the only black councillor on the council. 

He represents Carlton West for Labour, and said: “We know that we have a huge challenge facing us.

“Many organisations feel they have had policies in place for years which address racism and protect employees.

PICTURED: Carlton West councillor Errol Henry who is the only black councillor on the council, gave a speech at the event (IMAGE: Facebook)

“Well, we know that doesn’t work. We have to have ongoing dialogues to address the underlying social structures that keep oppressive behaviours in play, in order to move forward.

“We know that for some people, conversations about racism are uncomfortable.

“So it is easier to offer a policy and talk about some sort of training that is not fit for purpose than to actively engage in listening.

“But leadership on this issue and ongoing active engagement and listening is what needs to happen now at organisations like Nottinghamshire County Council and others across the country and across the World, to root out racism from our society.

“I love this country, I have served this country in the RAF for 20 years, and I think at its best it is one of the most welcoming places in the world. 

“But we are kidding ourselves if we are saying this is the best we can do, when we know so many of our black colleagues, family and friends are still living with the racism that our parents had to put up with 50 years ago.

“I know we can do better. But it will take time, courage and commitment.”

Nottinghamshire County County Council has been approached for comment.

Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

5 Comments

  • Councillors are supposed to be impartial to this type of politics, a bit like when footballers wasn’t allowed to wear the poppy as it was deemed to political. Yet they’re expected to go down on one knee. Talk about hypocrisy!

    • Councillors are intrinsically political. They stand as nominees for political parties in a political election, and their job is to work, through political action and negotiation, to make our area and lives better.

      So it’s right that they do this, if they believe it’s right to do so. Perhaps by recognising the problems with an outward display such as this, they can convey in a simple manner that they’re open to helping make things better for our black friends and neighbours who live all around the council area with us.

  • In my experience of councillors – they’re trying to keep the vote at the ballot box. And this is one way to do just that.

  • Any politician grovelling to the mob like this will not be getting my vote.

  • Too frightened not to. There is always a member of the opposite political part ready to seize the chance to slate you for not doing so. I take the knee for the Queen and the wife. Only. Certainly not because some lowlife armed robber smack head was made a martyr and gave rise to a ‘Black Power’ political movement using this to forward a totally different agenda than simply rights of black people and BLM. Its now way more sinister. Wake up a smell the coffee.

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