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Veteran activist says new protest wave creates a sense of possibility

Glenn Fubler addresses a march for Black Lives Matter (File photograph)

Veteran activist Glenn Fubler said he was unable to finish watching the video of the murder of George Floyd.

Mr Fubler, a civil and human rights campaigner for most of his 71 years, said: “It was so obviously inhuman – and captured by a 17-year-old girl. I couldn’t watch the whole thing.

“But I bet well over one billion people must have seen it.”

Mr Fubler joined the massive Black Lives Matter march that packed the streets of Hamilton 13 days after Mr Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He said a year on: “I went almost like an observer. I was so intrigued by what happened post-George Floyd.

“I had been involved in so many things, from the Black Beret Cadre in the 1970s. Come forward 50 years, the response to George Floyd was marvellous from my standpoint.

“Social media is a double-edged sword. It can bring a lot of negativity but has the potential of bringing people together.”

Mr Fubler said he was “encouraged” at seeing a significant White presence, similar to the demonstrations held all over the US.

He estimated White turnout at the Hamilton demonstration at about 30 per cent.

Mr Fubler said he was also struck by the similarity of much of the route to another march last month to mark the anniversary of the 1981 General Strike.

He added: “That spontaneous march was a claiming of the city. There were 300 people.

“The Black Lives Matter march was doing that with 7,000 people.”

Mr Fubler said that “the reverberation from George Floyd is continuing” in Bermuda and around the world.

He added: “I would go so far as to say the situation just recently in the Gaza Strip, where the global community has been able to put enough pressure to be able to stop it, shows the potential for a real, honest coming together.

“Something is there. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mr Fubler linked the modern upsurge in activism with the demonstrations he helped organise decades ago against the ruthless apartheid regime in South Africa.

He said: “What I am suggesting is that the George Floyd phenomenon is about a sense of global solidarity.

“When people turn a blind eye, that is the only way injustice survives, just like apartheid survived as long as it was accepted globally.”

Mr Fubler said Bermuda’s participation in a historic global movement “helps the average person understand they have a part to play not only in their immediate personal world, but their wider world”.

He emphasised: “That doesn’t mean the status quo is not still operating.

“But it has created a feeling of possibility.

“I would say as an activist who has been around many decades, we have serious challenges coming up.

“Especially when we talk about the implications of climate change and the economic dynamics in and around that.

“We will need that sense of possibility going forward.”

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Published June 07, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated June 07, 2021 at 7:42 am)

Veteran activist says new protest wave creates a sense of possibility

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