Communities back Black Lives Matter

Tobermory will see a Black Lives Matter protest this weekend with placards and messages of support being left at its clock tower in Main Street.

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People living Mull who support the Black Lives Matter movement are being urged to make their voices heard.

Protest organiser Alexandra Stevens is hoping people will show their support by leaving protest signs or messages of solidarity on Tobermory Clock Tower from Friday June 12 to Sunday June 14.

‘We are a small community but we have big voices. Let’s make them heard,’ said Alexandra who usually runs The Gallery Cafe in Tobermory Main Street during the visitor season.

‘I knew from social media there were a lot of people on Mull who supported the Black Lives Matter movement but could not get to the big protests in Glasgow or Edinburgh so I came up with the clock tower idea instead,’ she added.

Anyone going along over the weekend is reminded due to COVID-19 that the protest is not a public gathering or a march and that to help keep people safe, social distancing should be respected and masks worn.

Alexandra, who earlier this year was volunteering in a refugee camp in Bosnia, said: ‘The clock tower is a highly visible point in the town, people queue for the Co-Op just opposite it, so people’s messages and protests will be seen.’

On the mainland, a Facebook page for Black Lives Matters Oban had 180 members sign up in solidarity within days.

Amanda Macleod, one of the Oban group founders said: ‘I spent the past few weeks watching these events unfold, and slowly the protests were getting closer to home. Instead of doing nothing and saying nothing, I wanted a safe and respectful way to show that Oban is supporting BLM movement and wanted to see a change in the racist attitude that is deeply rooted in institutions across the world, not only our society. I want to educate our community that racism is here, although we might not see it, and take steps to address it.’

Amanda said plans are being made by many members ‘to do their bit in the community’ such as writing to  MPs, councillors, Oban High School and researching any links that Argyll might have with the slave trade.

‘Everyone has been sharing links and articles and information which is great for local people who are keen to learn more and make positive change and I hope that it becomes a lasting resource for the community to make a sustained effort once all of the initial protests are over,’ she added.

This week’s Oban Times also reported on how a North Connel family were spurred into action after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a police officer leaning a knee on his neck. This week they launched a website 846solidarity.org to  bring together a host of resources to help themselves and others learn more about racism and how to halt it.