On the first of June last year, Undod issued the first version of this statement in solidarity with those demanding justice for George Floyd, and all those who fight against racism and state violence everywhere.
As we noted at that time, the violent suppression of protests across the US, from casual brutality to rubber bullets and the indiscriminate use of pepper spray reveals a society still deeply scarred by entrenched racism. The shooting dead of a protestor from a car window also shows us how the state response further emboldens far-right terrorism. There can be no more symbolic or telling epilogue to that story than the sight of White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis over-running the Senate, with apparent impunity.
But – as emphasized last summer – we must challenge the idea that this is a uniquely American problem. Racism is also entrenched within UK society, its institutions and imperial history. Capitalism and white supremacy go hand in hand. The United Kingdom and the United States are built on centuries of exploitation, oppression and violence towards people of colour. The pandemic has further revealed the racism of state institutions. Despite an enormously disproportionate risk of death for BAME people from Covid-19, the UK government refuses to investigate the reasons for this or take adequate steps to protect our most marginalised communities.
We also stated in June how for many years in the UK, deaths of Black people in custody have gone uninvestigated or unprosecuted despite decades of campaigning from families. Here in Wales, our prisons are locking up the highest proportion of people of colour in the UK. The Welsh Government has signed up to the racist Prevent strategy which discriminates against our Muslim communities. Police continue to use stop and search powers to disproportionately target young men of colour. The story of the Cardiff Three has been the most infamous example of such endemic, historic, institutional racism.
And now, at the beginning of a year in which we hoped to start creating change for the better, we are faced with the tragic death of one of Cardiff’s own, Mohamud Hassan.
Real change starts with real accountability from the police, and real justice for Mohamud’s family. If we want a society that guarantees safety and dignity for all, then we have to work to dismantle the racism that runs deep through our society, our institutions, and our own hearts. We can wait no longer.
Black lives matter.
Justice for Mohamud Hassan.
How you can show solidarity
- Support Mohamud’s family by contributing to this appeal for the funeral and legal costs
- Sign this petition to demand that South Wales Police release the CCTV and bodycam footage from Mohamud’s arrest and time in custody