Write to your MP to demand government action on racism.
Yesterday (2 June), #BlackoutTuesday marked a day of reflection and self-education, following the death of George Floyd.
People across the world showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement by posting a black square onto Instagram, then taking the time to read, listen and watch conversations about race.
The muted, black Instagram feeds had a powerful effect: but it was only symbolic of the actions we have to take next. It was just the start. So, what exactly can you do right now?
Journalist, podcaster and author of the Forgotten Women series, Zing Tsjeng, has shared a helpful tweet calling for people in the UK to write to their local MP with demands.
“Please don’t just post a black square,” she wrote, along with a list of what we should do next in response to the police brutality in America.
Tsjeng suggested the following demands to put to our government:
“- Immediate suspension of UK sales of teargas, riot shields + rubber bullets to the US.
– Condemn Trump’s use of force against his own citizens.
– Release the delayed report into BAME Covid deaths [the report has since been released, but we can demand that the government does more to tackle the death rate].”
People are also sharing templates and drafts of letters to send to MPs in case anyone is unsure of what to write and how to articulate it.
One journalist shared the above document for people to use, which you can also find here.
“If you’d like to use it, tweak it a bit (copied/pasted stuff gets sent to spam). I hope this is useful,” she wrote.
A Twitter user shared another template written by a human rights activist, writing: “Use the below template, drafted by the brilliant @ZayZee00, to write to your MP about the race issues faced by Black people here in the UK and abroad.”
People are also sharing the big reason for doing this: we need more than performative activism.
One Twitter user wrote: “For those of you living in the #UK…one of the things you can do today is write to your MP and tell them to call on the Conservative government to suspend [the] UK’s sale of teargas, riot shields and rubber bullets to the #USA. Otherwise your ‘black square’ is just performative allyship.”
Another added: “If you’re in the UK wondering how you can ACTIVELY help, email your local MP and demand our gov apply pressure on Trump and his administration. Uni students should write to their university and/or term time constituency too.”
Of course, you can also demand anything else that you think the government should be taking action on. Because this needs to happen: action must come from all corners. It certainly isn’t America’s problem alone, and we all need to amplify our voices.
How to write to your local MP
Writing to your MP only takes a few minutes. Visit the Write To Them website, enter your postcode and click on your local MP’s name. Fill in the form by writing down your demands, confirm your address details and hit send. You’ll be sent an email to confirm your email address, so make sure you do that too.
It’s that simple.
There are plenty of other ways we can continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement, too.
Stylist has rounded up all the UK anti-racism charities and organisations you can support right now. And here’s how we can all be better allies in the fight against racism.
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