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Scotland and anti-racism

Black Lives Matter in Scotland

Monday 8 June 2020, by Iain Bruce

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Thousands of protesters came out in Scotland, in Glasgow and Edinburgh, on Sunday, to take the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matters protests in the United States, and to express their opposition to institutional racism here in Britain too. [1]

The mood was festive, but resolute, as a couple of thousand demonstrators, mostly young, gathered on Glasgow Green for a three-hour, static, protest. People repeatedly kneeled, clapped and cheered. As in many other parts of the world where the BLM demonstrations have taken hold, this was the first time in almost three months that Scotland has seen any such protest, or any other kind of mass gathering, and the sense of relief and community was palpable. But throughout the protest, almost everyone wore masks and kept a distance of two metres.

The Scottish government had expressed its sympathy and support for the Black Lives Matters movement, but called on people not to attend the protest, saying it would increase the risk of new coronavirus infections. Most of the demonstrators who came out in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, as well as in Glasgow, seemed to take that risk seriously, but were convinced that this was the right time, and the right issue, to mobilise around.

7 June 2020


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