Executive Council statement

Circular: 2020HOC0342MW

Dear Brother/Sister

Executive Council statement

Please find below a statement from the Executive Council agreed at a meeting today.

The killing of George Floyd and the fight against racism

The FBU condemns the brutal murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota on 25 May. The video shows police kneeling on George Floyd’s windpipe and asphyxiating him for more than eight minutes. The police officer who pressed his knee into Gorge Floyd has been charged with second degree murder and the three other officers on the scene during this killing have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

George Floyd’s death is the latest in a bitter history of police killings of black people in the United States. Black Americans have suffered terrible oppression for centuries in the US. Black people are more likely to be arrested and receive harsher sentences for the same crime than whites. Black Americans make up almost a third of the country's prison population. Real wages for black men and women in the US are 20-30% lower than for white women and men. Racism is reflected in all aspects of American society.

George Floyd’s death has sparked waves of protest by working-class Black Americans and anti-racist campaigners across the United States, and found a strong echo in the UK. The FBU supports the demonstrations that have taken place in many towns and cities across the UK. The union is proud of our members, who have showed their solidarity by taking the knee and joining other protests.

The FBU supports the statement of the Minneapolis Amalgamated Transit Union, whose members supported the protests in their state:

“Police brutality is unacceptable! This system has failed all of us in the working class, from the Coronavirus to the economic crisis we are facing. But this system has failed People of Colour and Black Americans and Black youth more than anyone else. More than ever we need a new Civil Rights Movement. A Civil Rights Movement that is joined with the labour movement and independent of the corporate establishment’s political parties.”

The FBU has a strong tradition fighting against racism and for working class unity. We are proud of the black and ethnic minority members within our union and of our union structures which assist them in organising. It is the duty of the labour movement internationally to take an unequivocal anti-racist stance and root out racism from every part of society.

The FBU stands in solidarity with George Floyd. The union sends our condolences to his loved ones. The FBU stands for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd. The union demands #BlackLivesMatter.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally

Matt Wrack
General Secretary

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