Black Lives Matter: Young Hampstead protester wants to ‘regain control of the narrative’ and raise funds for bereaved families with sponsored run
PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 June 2020
A model from Hampstead who has become one of the faces of the Black Lives Matter protests is planning a sponsored run 8.46 kilometres from Victoria to Holloway prison to raise money for three civil rights causes.
Alexandru Sones-Dawkins, 21, marched at the front of a number of recent protests, and caught national attention when he shut down the idea that anti-Black racism was not a problem in the UK compared to the USA by saying that was like comparing “stage three to stage four cancer” on national TV.
The run – which Alexandru is completing with close friend Lara Ilori – is in aid of the funds set up to support the families of Belly Mujinga and George Floyd, and 30 per cent of money raised will also be given to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
Ms Mujinga died of Covid-19 after being spat on while working for Transport for London in Victoria Station, while Mr Floyd’s death triggered the wave of global protests – he was killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
The protests have spread from Minneapolis around the world – even taking in Highate and Crouch End, via Parliament Square.
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Alexandru, whose modelling career came after he spent a year of his teenager life homeless and sleeping on buses, told the Ham&High: At the protests, from the first [on Sunday May 30], I felt very empowered to see so many people come together. I did the sign, and that became a statement.
“I’m a Black boy. I’ve experienced racism in various forms. And I’ve got to a point where I need to do this.”
He also criticised the coverage of the protests in recent weeks, saying: “I want to reach out, I want to do what I can to regain control of the narrative.
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“I saw with my own eyes what was going on, and the media has reported disproportionately on the violence.
“People are making history, I feel like I need to be present.”
Alexandru said the fundraising run – which has smashed its initial £750 target with more than £2,000 raised so far – was a way of drawing attention to systematic injustice and honouring the families of Ms Mujinga and Mr Floyd.
To support the fundraiser, see gofundme.com/f/fundraising--for-george-floyd-belly-mujinga
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