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Year 10 History and Politics pupils discuss issues around Black Lives Matter, June 2020.
‘Making Sense of the Protests’ by Imogen

Black Lives Matter. This might be a phrase that you’ve heard before but, right now, it has more momentum and power than ever. All across the world, protests have erupted due to the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd. Even though he has been the main face for these protests, black people have been facing oppression of this manner for centuries and finally there is a unifying call for it to change.

Throughout history, we have seen the battle for equality being fought in different ways. From early 1950s to the late 1960s the battle was being fought in America and this inspired many countries around the world, as well as here in the UK, to do the same. In America the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supposed to end the discrimination of people on the grounds of gender, religion, national origin, race and colour but, as we have witnessed through recent events, it hasn’t been hugely successful in doing so. As mentioned earlier, people of colour have been facing racial injustice for hundreds of years and I genuinely do hope and believe that the protests will bring about some much-needed change.

So, why now? Many are fighting this battle again in 2020 because they are tired of the way black people are being treated and they strongly believe that change needs to happen, just like those who participated in the civil rights movement. Also, although he has been the trigger for this movement, George Floyd is not alone. Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Philando Castle are some of the lives that have been taken by police brutality. As the president of America, Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been doing all he can to support his people. Some quotes from his tweets about the protests include “when the looting starts the shooting starts”, “these THUGS are destroying the memory of George Floyd” and multiple threats about bringing in the National Guard to stop peaceful protests across the country.

Obviously, everyone will have differing views on this situation but, whether you support these protests or not, the way that black people are being treated isn’t fair or right and that is why there is so much anger regarding this topic and why the protests are happening.

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