‘Amplify Black voices’ in response to ‘surreal’ situation where police in Crouch End removed an anti-racist banner
PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 July 2020
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.
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At 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.”
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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.”
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.”
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