- 2017 National Black Members' Conference
- 16 September 2016
This conference believes that the movement of young Black people that started following the death of Michael Brown in Fergusson, Missouri in 2014 has played a revitalising role fighting back against the disproportionately large number of Black people that are killed or injured at the hands of the police forces throughout the US. The march of thousands of young people with their hands raised in the air shouting ‘hands up, don’t shoot’.
This conference joins calls for the demand that police murders must stop!
The privatisation and commercial interests of policing and prison services has led to 2.8 million young Black men in prison, more than those who attend college. The destruction of the public education system in many cities and states leads to further exclusion of young Black men and women from employment and mainstream society.
However the ~#BlackLivesMatter movement doesn’t just campaign for justice for those murdered but increasingly is campaigning for Black lives to matter now. Despite the election of the first Black US President, the lives of Black people have become more difficult with increasing levels of poverty, unemployment and deteriorating living conditions over the past ten years. Segregation of communities, even though formally illegal, is still a feature of cities across the US.
In the United Kingdom, specifically in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Sheffield young people marched under the banner in solidarity with Black lives taken by the US police. But it has also had to take up incidents of police brutality in the UK. The murder of Mzee Mohammed on July 2016 in police custody in Liverpool follows a pattern that includes Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.
This conference extends solidarity to the #BlackLivesMatter movement both in the US and internationally and congratulates #BlackLivesMatter for reinvigorating a new, younger generation into a new Civil Rights movement.
This movement has spread throughout the US and is beginning to have an international appeal.
Conference therefore calls on the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) to:
1)Explore how UNISON can make links with the #BlackLivesMatter in the US and potential solidarity links with campaigns they run;
2)Discuss and explore how to support #BlackLivesMatter initiatives in the UK particularly how UNISON Branch Black Members Groups can make approaches at a local level and develop links to help develop local network in conjunction with UNISON’s aims and objectives protocols;
3)Oppose all deaths of any Black person in police custody calling for full open public enquiries into the deaths of Mzee Mohammed and Sheku Bayoh in particular.
Submitted by: National Black Members’ Committee
NBMC Policy: Support