Swansea Black Lives Matter protest against racist police brutality
Charlie Wells, Swansea Socialist Party
Eleven members of the Socialist Party and Socialist Students from Swansea and the surrounding area attended a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration, wearing masks and socially distancing, on 27 February. The protest swelled to 100, angry at the police brutality and racism in South Wales.
There has been a heightening of tensions between the BAME community and police in South Wales after the deaths of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan in Cardiff and Moyied Bashir in Newport, both of which happened immediately after interactions with police.
Prior to these events, the conduct of police in South Wales towards BAME people had been called into question. Campaigns such as the Free Sianda movement had already shone a light on racist policing in South Wales.
The protest heard speakers from the local BAME community, who wished to express their feelings about the role of the police and insidious practices such as stop and search, which disproportionately target BAME people. The event concluded with a moment’s silence in order to demonstrate solidarity with the wider BLM movement, and with the individuals who have been victims of police brutality and harassment.
As a result of the right-wing fearmongering which has been whipped up surrounding the rise of the BLM movement, there was a small right-wing counter-protest. However, the brave young organisers of the BLM event stood proudly and did not allow the calls of ‘all lives matter’ or the accusations of being ‘cultural marxists’ deter them from making their voices heard.
Young people all across Wales are showing that we will not allow our rights to be trampled upon by the police. We are willing to fight and protest in order to defend those rights.