North West Migrants Forum welcomes dropping of BLM prosecutions

The North West Migrants Forum has welcomed the announcement by the NI Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that it will not prosecute organisers of Black Lives Matter protests across the North last summer.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:21 pm
Lilian Seenoi-Barr.

The Derry-based group says the decision, while welcome, is long overdue.

A total of 14 people were reported to the PPS for consideration of potential offences under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 at one or more of three BLM protests held in Derry and Belfast whilst government restrictions were in place last June.

Three individuals had been reported in connection with a protest held at Guildhall Square, Derry, on June 6, 2020.

Lilian Seenoi-Barr, of the North West Migrants Forum insisted the prosecutions should never have been brought in the first place.

She added that, for 12 months, “lawful activists have been living in the shadow of threatened prosecution.”

She said: “While the PPS decision is welcome, the fixed penalty notices and fines issued by the PSNI on June ​6, 2020 ​have not been dropped. This issue is far from over​. The ​ North West Migrants Forum and allies will continue to keep a spotlight on discriminatory and racist policies in the criminal justice system and beyond.​ ​Racial equality and racial justice are not just slogans. Northern Ireland still has a lot to learn and a long way to go to overcome inequality and discrimination.”