Statement on this weekend’s protests

Issuing a statement, echoing the Mayor’s calls for Londoners to stay away from the planned protests in central London this weekend, London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“I join the Mayor of London in calling for all Londoners to stay away from central London this weekend and find different ways to peacefully have their voices heard.

“This is a difficult call. The majority of protestors have acted peacefully. I fully support the right to peacefully protest and I stand with Black Londoners in asserting their fundamental right to raise significant issues concerning their community.

“It has become clear in recent days that plans for far-right counter protests could lead to further violence and disorder. Shamefully, that is their aim. That, added to the fact that protests risk the further spread of COVID-19, mean there is a risk to the safety of Londoners.

“Black Lives Matter. This movement, and the swell of widespread public support, must be a catalyst for change and mature debate. We will not stop until racism and discrimination is challenged and eradicated.

“In asking people to stay away from central London this weekend, I am not asking them to abandon this cause, nor am I asking them to discard their pain and anger.

“Staying away, and ignoring the disgusting tactics of the far-right whose only endeavour is to stir up hatred and division is, as the Mayor says, the best response this weekend.

“For your safety, and that of the people you love, please stay away this weekend”.