When George Floyd was unlawfully killed by police officers on the 25th of May 2020 in Minneapolis, it sparked worldwide outrage and demonstrations. However, these quickly turned into riots targeting the police. The BLM movement then began influencing the United Kingdom spreading anarchy on the streets of major towns and cities including London, Bristol and Newcastle. These so called “protests” horrified bystanders. In London over 30 police officers were injured, one of whom was knocked off her mount suffering cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. These appalling scenes could have been drawn from a George Orwell novel about a dystopian society. Adding further to the dangers, large crowds of protestors herded together threatened a new spike in the Covid 19 infection and death rates. This endangered the gains made in supressing the virus during the eleven weeks of lock down.
No one denies that the death of George Floyd was a tragedy. With him dying at the hands of police officers, including one who kneeled on his neck during the arrest. Long prison sentences now look likely as a result of this now banned practice. Nevertheless, George Floyd was not the innocent, law-abiding martyr the BLM movement makes him out to be. He was in and out of jail most of his adult life mainly for cocaine and violence offences. In 2009, he was imprisoned for breaking and entering a pregnant woman’s house. He demanded anything of value while threatening her with a gun pointed at her swollen stomach. The fact that the woman was black was of no matter to him. This does not mean that Floyd deserved to die in the way he did, if any punishment was due for his alleged crime that day it should have been left to the law. But in the light of these facts BLM should bear in mind the character of those they use as martyrs for their cause.
Digging deeper into the beginnings of this apparently spontaneous international outcry for “social” justice reveals the Sunrise Movement. Based in the USA it claims to combat man made climate change brought about by greed and the use of carbon fuels. But they also demand the abolition of police forces. This points to it being a front for international socialism. It also has features in common with the Extinction Rebellion in the UK, a movement that has seriously disrupted life over the last two years.
Yet we are different from the USA in many ways. Firstly, American police are armed and it is not uncommon now for members of the public to carry guns. Gun shops are a familiar sight and some argue widespread gun ownership is one of the main causes of a rising crime rate there. Deaths of black men in police custody are significantly higher in the US than they are in the UK. And according to the most recent UK government statistics only 13 black men have died in the last ten years out of a total of 163 deaths in custody. So the BLM narrative that police brutality against black men in the UK is getting out of hand is completely untrue. I agree that UK citizens should be free to protest alleged injustices peacefully and demonstrate for what they believe in without police interference. Equally those who disagree with them should have the same rights.
I also believe that media companies have allowed themselves to be intimidated by BLM into withdrawing much loved comedies like the League of Gentlemen, The Inbetweeners, The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain. Removing such popular shows is just plain wrong. It is cowardly to bow to the will of BLM. Also destroying statues of prominent historical figures is completely wrong. Statues are erected to remind us of our past. As a student of history I believe that “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”