A wave that went around the world – a fight for human rights – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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A wave that went around the world – a fight for human rights

The baton passes: a young girl takes the fore at the Black Lives Matter Bermuda protest, held a year ago on Front Street (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda’s biggest demonstration in recent times was held a year ago, just 13 days after the police killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd in the US was captured on a mobile phone.

A jury found Derek Chauvin, a White policeman who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, guilty of Mr Floyd’s murder two months ago.

Black Lives Matter Bermuda, organised in the wake of Mr Floyd’s death, demonstrated social media’s power to organise on a massive scale and as many as 7,000 people took to the streets in protest.

Dynera Bean and Jasmine Brangman, both in their 20s, said afterwards they were taken aback by the size of the turnout for the march.

The event was given a special exemption from restrictions imposed in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Photographs showed its near total compliance with mask wearing.

A year on, The Royal Gazette examines how one day’s show of strength helped turn the tide in Bermuda’s difficult history of race relations.

The event is also credited with sparking an increased appetite in the business sector to tackle racism and inequality.

The march came nine days after the death of Eva Hodgson, 95, an author, teacher and historian known for her lifelong fight for civil rights and equality.

Glenn Fubler, an activist of an earlier generation, examines the day through the lens of protests against colonialism and South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Mr Fubler said the Black Lives Matter campaign, a US offshoot of social media that dated back to 2013, inspired a global movement to protest against widespread racism in the United States.

Mr Fubler said: “A quarter of black males in the US will end up imprisoned at sometime.

“You’re talking about a crazy situation that brought people out in record numbers in a pandemic.

“Here, it was a few young women who organised a march.

“But it was catching a wave that went across the world.”

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Published June 07, 2021 at 8:01 am (Updated June 07, 2021 at 8:50 am)

A wave that went around the world – a fight for human rights

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