Sheffield TUC supports Black Lives Matter protest Sheffield Saturday 6th June


The progressive voice of Sheffield’s trade union movement     




We mourn George Floyd too


Solidarity with all protests against police brutality and racism

Abdullah Mohamed's photo.


Sheffield Trade Union Council sends a message of solidarity to the millions of Americans protesting police brutality and racism across the USA.

We express our horror at the public murder of George Floyd at the hands of US policemen whilst lying constrained on the ground, clearly posing no threat, with a knee on his throat till he died. His last words were “I can’t breathe”. This is no isolated incident. Countless brutal and violent deaths of unarmed black men have continued to occur with impunity at the hands of US police recently and over many decades.

We condemn President Trump’s racism, his inflammatory language and his astounding threat to use maximum state brutality and oppression to quell unrest. His silence over the death of George Floyd is deafening.

We support the protests by black people – and people of all races and colours who join in support – here in the UK. We can’t breathe here either. Over 1700 people have died after contact with UK police since 1990 with BAME communities disproportionately affected but between 1995 and 2015 not one police officer has been prosecuted over a black person’s death in custody.

Sheffield TUC stands in support of young black people in Sheffield who are choosing to protest on Saturday 6th June under the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. We are honoured to be asked to help steward the demonstration.

Trade unions in the UK today stand solidly against racism and all forms of discrimination and injustice. That was not always the case and we have to own up to racism in our collective history which we have done so much to root out. When we find racists and fascist in our ranks today, our response is swift and severe. They have no place in our movement.

As we organise low paid workers in Sheffield, under our Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise campaign, it is self-evident that young black men and women are disproportionately represented, suffering poverty pay, insecure contracts, bullying and injuries. The fight against racism goes hand in hand with the fight for justice in the workplace – and the need for black workers to join a trade union to win better conditions and respect at work is stronger than ever.

Our Sheffield TUC CV19 Council of Action expresses deep concern at the disproportionate deaths from COVID 19 within the BAME community. We back Diane Abbott’s Early Day Motion in Parliament to call for a full public inquiry. We know that black, Asian and ethnic minority communities disproportionately suffer poverty, low paid jobs, poor housing, overcrowding and health issues and many are key workers in the NHS and Care Homes who have been most exposed to the virus.

We all need to wake up and learn that our broken and divided society cannot simply return to “how things were” after COVID. Too much injustice has been exposed, too much poverty has been suffered and too many black families have been exposed to both.

No more police brutality! No more deaths of black people by the police!

Poverty and injustice are the main evils in our society – let’s unite and fight to eradicate them.

Racism and fascism must be resisted and defeated

Join a trade union today and use our collective strength to fight for a better future

Martin Mayer, Secretary and Bob Jeffery, President on behalf of Sheffield Trade Union Council Executive Committee 4th June 2020