Press Release – By Mairead Maguire Nobel Peace Laureate
“I would like to add my sympathy and condolences to George Floyd family and the families of Black victims, and others killed by racists, be they in USA, United Kingdom, Asia, no matter where they live. It was inspiring to see millions of people, respond to the call of the Movement ‘Black Lives Matter’ and take to the streets to pray act and protest police brutality, institutional violence, racism and discrimination, and to call for transparency and accountability and real change”.
Anti-black and racism continues to permeate through the criminal justice system and the social fabric of the USA, UK and many countries. During my many visits to the USA, I was deeply shocked by the extreme poverty, particularly in Black/American communities. I visited Los Angeles after the LA Riots in 1992 and witnessed the poverty in which many black people lived which left me in admiration at the courage of so many working to help their devastated communities with little or no resources and help. America is a very rich country but sadly much of their wealth goes to the elite l% with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The military budget (the largest in the world) is spent on arms, nuclear weapons and war. Large numbers of black Americans join the military as there are few jobs for them. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement, the Peace movement calling for ending war, the anti- nuclear movement, women’s’ movement, the environment movement, increasingly led by youth are calling for new policies from USA government and world governments, which puts its people and their need for health, education, first and refuse to kill each other but solve our problems through dialogue, co-operation and harmony.
During my visit to L.A. I attended a black church and took hope from the hundreds of Black/American people who after the riots, committed themselves to rebuild their city of the angels on justice equality and peace, and their service ended with a great AMEN. We can as a tribute and in respect and memory of George Floyd (RIP) join our black/American brothers and sisters, and commit to start again the search for justice, equality and peace amongst the human family.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace Laureate