Jun 18th 2020THE KILLING of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis on May 25th sparked anti-racism protests across Britain, from obvious spots like Tra
THE KILLING of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis on May 25th sparked anti-racism protests across Britain, from obvious spots like Trafalgar Square in London to odd places like St Albans, a wealthy commuter town, and Cobham, a village in Surrey. Statues have been toppled and arguments aired. The government will set up a race-equality commission. But, having achieved so much so quickly, the British wing of Black Lives Matter (BLM) finds itself split between older revolutionaries and younger pragmatists.
BLM UK appeared in 2016, following several high-profile shootings of black people in America and in protest against Donald Trump and Brexit. Hundreds marched on Parliament, and a handful shut down a road at Heathrow Airport and a runway at City Airport. Its leading lights, many of whom came from the Occupy movement, wanted to dismantle capitalism through civil disobedience. These people, now in their 30s and 40s, are not responsible for recent protests.
A different lot of people have organised the gatherings over the past few weeks. Mostly young and more often black, they are a mixture of students and aspiring creatives. They ignored BLM UK’s advice not to gather in large groups because of the threat from covid-19. Many of them believe that the ambition of destroying capitalism is a frivolous distraction.
“We’ve talked to a lot of the older generation,” says Aba…