LCA Chair, Garth Dallas responds to the events surrounding the death of George Floyd.

We, the Liverpool Commonwealth Association condemn the unlawful murder of George Floyd – an unarmed 46-year-old African American man, who was brutally killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, despite being restrained, despite the urgent requests of onlookers, despite his repeated desperate pleas: “I can’t breathe.” Our hearts weigh heavy and are filled with compassion for all affected by this devastating injustice. We send our condolences to George Floyd’s friends and family.

We acknowledge the pain and anger that has been felt by communities worldwide. We deeply feel the pain and despair that resonates through the world right now; especially within the black community. Serious action is required by all in order to work towards a future in which equality prevails and racism is no longer tolerated.

In accordance with the Commonwealth Charter, as an organisation, we are vigorously opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in race, colour, creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, political belief or other grounds. Our stance on racial equality is particularly clear and we vehemently condemn racism, police brutality and injustice of any kind. We have a zero-tolerance towards racism.

As civil unrest and levels of protest rise, we do understand the need for individuals and communities to respond with protest as they demonstrate their convictions around racial equality.

We encourage organisations across the Liverpool City Region to review the structure of their establishments, ensuring that institutionalised racism does not exist within their hierarchies.

Regrettably, this devastating act of injustice is by no means the first of its kind. There have been hundreds of years of inequality and urgent change is required to combat racism, not just today but every day. We each have a part to play in this.

We take our role seriously here at the Liverpool Commonwealth Association ensuring that our membership is representative of the diversity within the Commonwealth.

We unite in our grief and our conviction to make a change whilst using our collective voices and platform. We recognise that it is not enough to simply state that we are against racism. We must take a stand and be actively anti-racist, infusing it in our policies and the fabric of our organisations. We can all do more.

We are well-placed to signpost people who have been affected by this tragedy to organisations that provide appropriate support and aim to work collaboratively with other like-minded groups and organisations in Liverpool City Region in fighting against all forms of discrimination.

Garth Dallas (Chair)

Vanessa Boateng (General Secretary)

Tim Nichol (Trustee)

Shazney Spence (Trustee)

Chris Lewis (Trustee)

Pauline Davis (Trustee)

Mumin Khan (Trustee)

Sylvia Forchaps-Likambi (Trustee)

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