The social upheaval caused by the murder of George Floyd is piled onto the current employment and health crises not only in the United States of America, but around the world.
Progressive activists have supported the people of Minneapolis by launching their own actions calling for justice. Beyond solidarity with the cause of the demonstrators in the USA, people are confronting the reality of racism and oppression in their own communities and countries, and are taking an unequivocal stance against it.
Protests are filling the streets of London, New York, Brussels and Toronto, and Iranians are holding a vigil for George Floyd — to name but a few. Actions against police forces in the United States have begun to take place, either through the jamming of their walkie talkies with Yugoslavian music, or DDoS attacks on their websites by Anonymous.
At DiEM25, we understand police brutality as yet another symptom of a society whose structural violence is already manifested in starvation wages, unpaid work leaves and vast unemployment, and racial discrimination. Rioting and looting is to be expected as a response to a society focused on profit and no longer on the welfare of its people. During the pandemic, governments have bailed out banks and big business instead of small enterprises, working people, and their communities. Anger, although never constructive, is understandable.
We also recognise that discrimination, racism and oppression are not only external struggles: but fights that we must engage with in our own communities and groups. That is why one of the ongoing votes establishing DiEM25 2.0 concerns the establishment of three Task Forces on Diversity, Feminism and Disabilities respectively (if you are a member, please click here to vote). Their mandate will be to assist the movement in improving both its relevant policies, but also our internal procedures and structures so we can be effective allies and participants in the fight against racism, xenophobia, and oppression.
Below is a video and song made through a collaboration by two DiEMers — one of our team members on the DiEM25 communications team, and a Syrian musician and music producer based in Brussels:
“Isterofimia from the Greek meaning “to be remembered after death”, is our duty to George Floyd, and the thousands before him, killed by our governments in our name. They put their lives at risk so that we could be here today. We must never forget.
We must fight to dismantle illegitimate, unaccountable political and corporate power standing against the interests of all people.
We’re people from Brussels, with hopes and dreams — like everybody else — tired of a system that chokes and kills for money and lets people die from hunger.
This track is to all those who put their lives on the line so that others could be free. We thank you.”
For a more in-depth analysis of the situation in the US, we wholeheartedly recommend (and commend) the article by the DiEM25 National Collective in Belgium.
Do you want to be informed of DiEM25's actions? Sign up here