How to take part in the Stand Up to Racism ‘take the knee’ campaign today

The protest will take place at 6pm on 3 June (Photo: Shutterstock)The protest will take place at 6pm on 3 June (Photo: Shutterstock)
The protest will take place at 6pm on 3 June (Photo: Shutterstock)

People across the UK are being encouraged to take part in a Stand Up to Racism campaign today (3 June), following the recent killing of African American man, George Floyd.

The protest has been organised following global outrage after the unarmed 46-year-old black man died last week while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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What is ‘take the knee’?

The anti-racism campaign group is urging Brits to ‘take the knee’ - or kneel down - on their doorsteps on Wednesday 3 June in solidarity with those who are protesting in the US.

Riots and demonstrations have broken out across the world following the death of Floyd, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin held him down by pressing a knee into his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) has organised the protest to take place at 6pm on Wednesday 3 June, as part of a day of action against discrimination.

The campaign was inspired by the kneeling protest staged by American football star Colin Kaepernick in 2016, that has since become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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A separate protest has also been organised in Hyde Park in London at 1pm, along with a further demonstration at 1pm on Saturday 6 June in Parliament Square.

The show of solidarity comes after thousands of people gathered outside St George’s Hall in Liverpool on Tuesday (2 June), as part of a separate Black Lives Matter protest.

While Merseyside Police recognised people have a right to demonstrate peacefully, the force said in a tweet that protesters should still adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Are BAME communities at risk?

The protests against black discrimination come as a review by Public Health England (PHE) found that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are significantly higher risk of dying from coronavirus.

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Campaigners are now calling for a public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on BAME communities.

Weyman Bennett of SUTR said: "Racism is the underlying condition that continues to kill black and BAME communities.

"Take the knee at 6pm because there is a boot on the neck of millions of people in the BAME community.

"Part of the cure for the virus of racism is to embrace anti-racism and anti-fascism."

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SUTR's Sabby Dhalu added that BAME communities are “suffering disproportionately”, not only from coronavirus, but from economic decline and police brutality as well.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked protestors on Tuesday (2 June) to find an alternative to physical demonstrations.

At her daily briefing in Edinburgh, she said: “Right now, it is the case, unfortunately and regrettably, that large gatherings of people could pose a risk to health and indeed to life.

"We need to find ways of allowing people to make their voices heard and to make the points that many of us want to be made and to be heard right now, but to do so in a way that is safe and is not putting people protesting or wider communities at risk."

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While large gatherings still remain banned under lockdown rules, the campaign group is instead calling on people to ‘take the knee’ on their doorstep at 6pm on Wednesday 3 June, in solidarity with George Floyd.