Women’s Demands for Black Lives Matter Movement
End Stop & Search. The most pervasive racist abuse by police: 375,588 s&s in England & Wales (2019), and a sharp increase during lockdown. Black people, especially children and young men, are 10x more likely to be s& than white people; Asian people x3 more. It humiliates, persecutes and interferes in daily life. Every mother of sons worries about it and the possibility of its escalation.
Abolish shoot to kill, tasers & life-threatening restraints. The UK has no death penalty but more than 1,746 people have died at the hands of police and immigration officers since 1990. It is terrifying that so many lives, of any race, have been taken. People of colour are twice as likely to be shot by police as white people. Like the US, police shoot to kill rather than aim to stop. Tasers, violent restraints, handcuffing are routine, even against people suffering mental ill-health, children and women. Black people are 4x more likely to be tasered and 6x more likely to be handcuffed. Irish, Muslim, homeless, and working-class people, drug users and any one criminalised can be targeted. Defund the police & invest in community services independent of police.
Every death in police custody must be acknowledged as a crime, investigated, and officers involved held to account. Despite many family campaigns for justice, usually led by women, not a single officer has ever been convicted. Deaths in police custody are a nearly 2x as likely to occur when the person is Black and suffering mental ill-health.
Appropriate compensation for families of those killed by police or immigration officers.
Sexual assault by police must be fully and independently investigated. Women reporting crimes, including rape and domestic violence, are sometimes sexually abused by officers on the case.
Rape & domestic violence, attacks against people of colour, disabled and/or LGBTQ+ must be prioritised for investigation and prosecution. Two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners; three during the Covid-19 lockdown!Only 1.5% of recorded rapes are prosecuted(similarly for domestic violence). Hate crimes are on the increase: of 103,379 offences recorded by police, 76% were race related (2019).
End Prevent & other forms of racial profiling used to intimidate and criminalise, especially Muslim communities. Children as young as five have been reported for “radicalisation”!
Stop school exclusions. Disproportionately used against children of colour and/or children with special needs, with devastating and long-lasting consequences. Black pupils are 3 times more likely to be permanently excluded.
Stop taking children from their mothers based on prejudices of sex, race, disability, class and/or culture, and the presumption that poverty equals neglect. Children from working-class communities, many of whom are children of colour and/or immigrant, are 10 times more likely to end up in ‘care’; 50% of children in custody have been in ‘care’. Take away our poverty not our children!
Justice for Grenfell Housing and full compensation for all those affected; prosecute the companies responsible, and the local council which ignored tenants’ concerns.
NHS – End Structural racism. Black women are 5x more likely to die during childbirth than white women, and Asian women 2x as likely. Black and immigrant health workers, who are essential to and helped build the NHS, are more likely to be harassed and subjected to disciplinary procedures if they complain. Since the pandemic, Black nurses report being automatically sent to COVID-19 wards. Black and immigrant people make up 44% of NHS doctors and 24% of nurses, and 70% of front-line workers who died in the pandemic.
Windrush survivors: Immediate acknowledgement of citizenship & appropriate compensation. Those detained and wrongly deported have faced some of the worst hardship; some have died from the injustice inflicted on them.
End the hostile environment against immigrants and people of colour. It turns schools, landlords, employers and health workers into police.
Close detention centres. Restore the right to work, welfare benefits and housing for asylum seekers and immigrants. 70% of women seeking asylum are survivors of rape and other torture.
Abolish No Recourse to Public Funds & NHS & visa charges for immigrant workers and their families. They make us vulnerable to violence and exploitation, driving us into destitution or crimes of poverty. It is scandalous that immigrant NHS workers who risked their lives during Covid-19 were being charged until there was a public outcry.
Papers for All. Immediate and permanent leave to remain for all asylum seekers and immigrants. We have a right to be here to access health care and protection, and to reclaim wealth our work has created. When slavery was abolished, slave owners were compensated for the loss of their “human property” – UK taxpayers were repaying that “debt” without any knowledge or consent until five years ago! Former slaves and descendants never got a penny in compensation. The British Empire and corporations looted our home countries for centuries, and that theft continues today, causing war, starvation and ecological devastation. Papers for all is a part of reparations for this massive theft.
Equal wages, starting with women of colour. Asian women in Leicester’s sweatshops are being paid £3.50 an hour! This can’t be legal. Black women earn up to 31% less than white men. Three million essential workers, mostly women, earn poverty wages for precarious work on temporary or zero-hour contracts. Many putting their lives at risk delivering vital care, are the lowest-paid women. In health and social care, Black and immigrant women are hugely over-represented.
A Care Income & living wages. Care work is indispensable to survival and wellbeing; it is skilled and hard work, done primarily by women in the family and outside. Waged carers are disproportionately women of colour/immigrant women on the lowest wages. Justice work that women especially do – protecting families and communities from structural racism/sexism and other violence and discrimination – is an extension of this caring work and falls most heavily on low income women of colour. As part of the Green New Deal for Europe we demand a Care Income for everyone, of any gender, caring for people, the urban and rural environment, and the natural world.
End environmental racism. Working class/communities of colour everywhere are used as dumping grounds for industrial pollutants, poisoning water, air and soil, and causing illness and premature death, and destroying the environment and the climate. Our communities, particularly women, are also at the forefront of movements for social change and climate justice. A Care Income addresses that.
End wars and export of lethal weapons used to kill and repress civilians anywhere in the world. We endorse Black Lives Matter support for Palestinians. Palestinian Lives Matter!
Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike on behalf of Global Women’s Strike and Payday Men’s network.
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