“I am outraged at what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the US – I am equally outraged by whats going on to our nation worldwide and of the lack of action that we are taking collectively. Black lives have always mattered – they mattered when they invented civilisation, they mattered when they created the first university in Mali, they mattered in maths and they mattered in ancient science. They still mattered when they were taken against their will and were enslaved on plantations which built much of America and Europes wealth.
Well guess what its 2016 and not only do black lives still matter, but black lives are still being lynched and black lives are still working on the plantations albeit in a different guise. The black pound and the black dollar are amongst the most strongest spending powers so I ask the question why are so many of us still poor?
I am the deputy leader of the Green Party Group here in Bristol – this is not a political platform to that end but I must raise the points that health matters, quality of life matters, air quality matters, non GM food matters, climate change matters and climate change might matter to some of us more when countries like Jamaica will not only endure beaches plagued with plastic, but will also cease to create its famous blue mountain coffee because of climate change which will cripple the farmers even more, the farmers many of whom descend from enslaved Africans and were left with nothing when emancipation came. Plantation owners were compensated but former slaves were left to die and are still being left to die in 2016.
We cannot separate this history from our current truth – we have been fighting for freedom for over 400 years and we simply cannot stop now. Lets re focus on what actually truly matters , All I know is that I matter, my family matters, you all matter – turn to the person next to you and say ‘you matter.’
Black children who die in mines in Congo to supply us with mobile phones, matter.
The disproportionate number of us in mental institutions and in prison, matters
The number of us with diabetes and preventable diseases matters
The way we talk to each other – matters
And Humanity mattered
The obvious and the subtle genocides that are happening now need to stop.
WE are Africans – lets stop running away from who we are – We are the global majority – WE all matter we have been at the forefront of invention and creativity having created many things but I note that guns were not one of them.”
Speech written and spoken by Cleo Lake in front of City hall at the Black Lives Matter march and rally Bristol 10/6/16 Photos by Night Camera Action