George Floyd Anniversary : Mayor joins NWMF and others in acts of remembrance in Derry
The Mayor of Derry has joined members of the North West Migrants Forum and others to mark the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd in the US.
The North West Migrants Forum has marked the anniversary with the launch of an online book of remembrance and an online memorial service last night which was live-streamed through the NWMF Facebook page.
Mr Floyd, a 46 -year-old black man, died while being restrained by a police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking protests across the world, including two that took place in Derry and Belfast, on June 6 2020.
Chauvin has been found guilty of all charges against him, including second-degree murder, following less than a day of deliberations by the jury in his three-week trial.
The North West Migrants Forum events to mark Mr Floyd’s killing formed part of the organisation’s 2021 “Connect, Unite, Change the World” programme which aims to encourage people and communities to join together to tackle racial inequalities and racism in Northern Ireland.
Last week Mayor Tierney, joined NWMF staff and volunteers to launch the online book of remembrance for Mr. Floyd. This is now available for the public on the Derry based charity’s website.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Brian Tierney, said; “The murder of George Floyd sent shock waves across the world as people watched the video footage in horror this time last year.
“The anniversary is an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with George Floyd’s family and friends to say that racism and police brutality are completely unacceptable.
“I would encourage people to sign the book of condolence opened by the North West Migrants Forum to send out a clear message that our region will not tolerate discrimination and prejudice in any form.”
Speaking ahead of the anniversary Lilian Seenoi-Barr, Director of Programmes at the North West Migrants Forum said, “It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since the brutal murder of George Floyd in America, a tragedy that should never have happened.
“The anniversary of Mr Floyd’s death is very timely for us here in Derry as the PSNI has just released its most recent statistics on hate motivated crimes in NI and the report is grim. There is an increase of 7 Racist hate crime incidents and crimes have increased by 5.”
Ms Seenoi-Barr was critical of the lack of convictions and concrete action to tackle racial hate crimes and said it was noteworthy that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK, which does not have specific hate crime legislation.
“We need public support to call on the minister for justice to implement the 34 recommendations made by the independent hate crime review conducted by Judge Desmond Marrinan last November.
“Last June we witnessed the city of Derry/Londonderry join together to overwhelmingly reject racism. They sent a strong message that migrants and our new citizens are welcome here. We ask that you do not tire. Stand with us again because if this last year has taught us anything, it’s that when communities mobilise, change happens.”
The North West Migrants Forum was founded in February 2012 and is committed to promoting equal opportunities and protection for people of different ethnic backgrounds in Northern Ireland.
To sign the online book of remembrance, visit: www.nwmf.org.uk/george-floyd-one-year-anniversary-book-of-remembrance/For more information on the NWMF and the work it does, visit www.nwmf.org.uk.