‘Amplify Black voices’ in response to ‘surreal’ situation where police in Crouch End removed an anti-racist banner

Black Lives Matter protesters stop traffic in Crouch End Broadway. Picture: Ian Mantgani

Black Lives Matter protesters stop traffic in Crouch End Broadway. Picture: Ian Mantgani - Credit: Archant

After an anti-racist banner was removed by police in Crouch End sparking an outcry, campaigners want to put the focus on “amplifying Black voices”.

A banner reading “white silence is violence” was hung from an apartment in Crouch End Hill – until police requested its removal on Saturday July 18.

In response, groups including Crouch End Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Haringey Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) organised a demo in front of Hornsey Town Hall in the heart of Crouch End – just yards from where the banner had hung.

READ MORE: Hornsey food bank sets up in Campsbourne SchoolAt the demo on July 28, speakers from antiracist groups criticised the police’s actions, and protesters even briefly stopped traffic on the Broadway in front of the Co-Op.

Though still “progressing” the issue regarding the banner’s removal, one of the woman who hung it – Katherine Plumb – told the Ham&High: “We wish the focus to amplify black voices and action in the community solely.”

A police spokesperson confirmed the incident with the banner had occurred “after receiving a third party complaint”. They added that Scotland Yard would encourage those involved to get in touch if they had concerns over what happened.

Simon Hester, co-convenor of Haringey SUTR, said the police’s decision had been absurd. He added: “The first thing to say is there’s absolutely no way that banner was racist. It’s absurd and faintly surreal that the police went and removed it.

“It suggests a distinct lack of understanding about what racism actually is on their part.”

Most Read

This is not the first time since the Black Lives Matter movement grew in prominence – after the killing of George Floyd in the USA – that an anti-racist banner in Crouch End has caused ire.

Hornsey councillor Adam Jogee told this newspaper how a local resident had, after putting a Black Lives Matter poster outside her flat only to come home to it having been defaced with swear words and phrases including “#bulliesarecowards” and “#mindyourownbusiness”.

Cllr Jogee (Lab, Hornsey) added that unpleasant response had been “wrong”, and he said: “It was also sad, because it is wholly unrepresentative of the broad support for the fight against racial inequality and injustice in all communities.”