Children’s walk against racism to be followed by ‘Take the Knee’ vigil

The walk against racism. Pic: Katherine Corcoran

Dozens of Hackney children acccompanied by their parents and carers took a stand against racism by  walking in solidarity through the borough’s Victoria Park, keeping to social distancing rules.

The success of the socially distanced demonstration – one of dozens around the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis – has prompted organisers to schedule a ‘Take The Knee’ vigil for all at Hackney Town Centre today at 6pm. This will also be a socially distanced vigil. The organisers have also encouraged residents of Hackney to still take the knee at their front doorstep even if they cannot make the vigil at the Town Hall.

‘Take the Knee’ vigil banner Pic: Twitter (@hackneysutr)

Saturday’s walk started at Well Street Common walking through the park in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The children were involved in a variety of different activities such as a ‘dance-a-thon’ an exercise class and some of the children made speeches on the megaphone.

Among those who took part was Shukrim Adan, who works with Connecting Communities in London, walking alongside her children, nieces and nephews. She told Eastlondonlines: “The kids enjoyed speaking about justice on the megaphone. they are learning that the world isn’t what they think it to be. There will be a lot of challenges and they need to know their rights”.

“We didn’t choose the colour of our skin or where we were born so we shouldn’t be judged on that. There’s no need to harm each other, all we need is peace and love and I believe it is something us humans can work towards”  

Another participant Katherine Corcoran said: “We had banners and the kids enjoyed shouting and the feeling of being involved. The day felt very positive and emotional, so good to have the opportunity to actually show up and stand up.”

“I think the main thing they took away was the collective response and feeling of connection to others in the community. We had an opportunity to show our solitary and support and commit to making a change going forward”.

Hackney Mayor, Philip Glanville spoke about how there was “lots of hope from young people involved, but injustice, inequality & racism need us all to act.”

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville speaking to the demonstrators. Pic: Twitter (@PhilipGlanville)

Those who attended were remined of the importance of social distancing. Adan said “We continuously used hand gel. Kids sometimes forgot to follow the guidelines but once you reminded them about social distancing they did listen.” 

Corcoran said the fact that it was a children’s march and that it was all in the open/park [and] not along cramped streets helped those present to feel more relaxed about social distancing.

They also encourage residents of Hackney to still take the knee at their front doorstep even if they cannot make the vigil at the Town Hall.

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