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Port Talbot Sean Suter 16 02 24 2

Sean Suter

Protest location

BLM Port Talbot

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Black Lives Matter to me means empowering black people to have a voice and stand up for what they believe in, and then hopefully, inspire other people to do the same thing.

It is ridiculous that some people say Black Lives Matter is something that relates to America and not Wales or in Port Talbot. One the day when everyone came and shared their experiences, one could tell that racism is a real thing in Port Talbot as much as it is in America or worldwide, it is a global issue. The Welsh Government declaring through the First Minister that Wales should be an Anti-racist Nation by 2030 makes me feel like we are going in the right direction. A lot of change has been sparked by us and we need to keep it going.
About organising the protest in the middle of a pandemic, our first priority was social distancing to make sure everyone was safe. However, it was in the heat of the moment reactionary to George Floyd’s murder, and if the protest had happened at any later time, it would not have held the same weight or power.

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This was the first thing I have actually organised which was a good thing for me because I believe I did well and it is something I am very passionate about. As this is my first ever protest of any sort, my mother and uncle were of great help to me and very instrumental to the organisation. They helped me a lot with it though it was more of my idea. Being in the space with so many people who responded to my call, standing together was very surreal and powerful. I didn’t expect the volume of support that we had on that day, but I remember stepping out and seeing all those people, hearing them speak and share their experiences. It was amazing and very emotional for me.

I faced quite a lot of racism in school. A notable example was when I was told that my mother couldn’t have been my mother because she is a black woman and I am not. It has also been said to me that my hair is not a white man’s hair, amongst other racist comments and experiences I have had over the years which stuck with me.
I also remember watching the incident of George Floyd’s killing on social media very clearly. Seeing that a white police officer knelt on Geroge Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 27 seconds which led to his death and no one did anything to stop it was utterly disgusting. It ignited something and brought out everything that I’d always felt out of me.

I would say to the future generations to just use their voices because it is their most powerful asset. Use the digital technology tools around them like social media, and also family and friends. They need to speak up for themselves, if they have an issue or a problem with something because it can change everything.
No justice, no peace.

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