Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:
“I am deeply saddened at the recent killing of George Floyd in America and the circumstances surrounding his death. The impact of this tragedy goes far beyond the United States, with sorrow, anger and despair being felt across the entire world, including here in Sheffield.
“Racism has absolutely no place in our society and we remain rightly proud of our multi-cultured communities that make our city the vibrant and diverse place it is today. Nobody should ever have to face discrimination because of the colour of their skin and we must all stand in unity against racism of any sort, at all times.
“Sheffield was the first UK city to be named a City of Sanctuary, and we’re proud to be a place of safety for all, welcoming people of all nations, cultures and backgrounds to call Sheffield home. We strive for equality and celebrate diversity in this city, but even as far as we have come, I know there are still those who live with fear and discrimination in their daily lives.
“This is an issue that many of us want to express our views on and we appreciate that some will want to come together to do this. However, we all need to remember to stay safe during the current pandemic and maintain social distancing stringently. Whilst not wanting to discourage demonstrations, we want to make sure any movements are peaceful and adhere to the public health guidelines that remain in place. Our voices can only be heard and we can only make a difference if we are healthy, well and alive.
“It’s a sad fact that racially driven abuse exists in most societies, but we mustn’t turn the other cheek. We must stand up against it. It’s easy to become complacent, for other matters to take priority, but as a council it’s time for us to work harder to turn our values into tangible actions for our colleagues and the communities we serve. We want to do this collectively and we want to listen. We welcome working together with different organisations, groups and people to look at a way forward and explore how we can do more, to create a better society for everyone and to create a fair and fear-free future for our children.”
People who are planning to attend the Black Lives Matter protest tomorrow are reminded to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing at all times to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
More information about the Black Lives Matter movement can be found here. https://blacklivesmatter.com/