'It's not enough to not be racist - we all need to do better' - South Tyneside's leaders back Black Lives Matter calls

‘We all need to do better’, is the message from town hall chiefs over the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Sunday, 21st June 2020, 5:28 pm
South Shields Town Hall

Marches have been held across the UK and America following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

And bosses at South Tyneside Council (STC) have formally confirmed their solidarity with the campaign’s aim of eradicating racial injustice.

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Demonstrators donned face mask at the protest on Saturday, June 20. Picture: North News.

“The council takes a zero tolerance approach to racist behaviour, condemning racism and bullying in all its forms,” said Coun Mark Walsh, cabinet member for Housing and Transport.

“But we recognise it’s not enough to not be racist.

“In a world where race-based inequality and injustice persists it is necessary to take a stand and be anti-racist.”

Coun Walsh was speaking at a meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet, which was held by video conference and broadcast via YouTube.

Black Lives Matter protests in the UK have seen statues of slave owners removed in Bristol and London.

STC has since confirmed it plans to review the ‘appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land and council property’.

Iain Malcolm, the leader of the council, said: “I think it’s important in the public arena that the council take this opportunity to reinforce our solidarity with those campaigning against racism and injustice.

“Recent events have given us all cause for pause and to consider our principles and values.

“But I do want to emphasise that in STC there is no place for racism, we are an anti-racist council committed to combatting all forms of racism, with equality and diversity as the main tenant of our approach.”

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