CARMARTHENSHIRE County UNISON has issued a statement in relation to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

The Carmarthenshire branch statement reads as follows:

Carmarthenshire County UNISON wishes to express our solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and mass protests that have taken place across the country and across the world.

Initially sparked by the brutal murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Over 250,000 mainly young people have participated in some of the biggest protests in towns and cities seen for years if not decades in the UK.

This rising up against racism and inequality by black and working-class youth has shaken the establishment as young people demonstrate they want fundamental change.

The press and the Tory Government have made much of statues being taken down and in the case of Bristol dumped in the sea.

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They talk about alleged ‘criminality’ to deflect attention from the support BLM is getting. But the press and the Tories don’t mention the brutality of the system they support capitalism.

Where poverty and unemployment is growing and if you are black you are four times as likely to die of COVID-19.

Where youth clubs and youth services have been decimated by Tory cuts, where University Fees have trebled and many young people are in precarious employment and cannot get decent accommodation.

We would like to add our voice to those that think that the ‘memorial’ to Thomas Picton should be removed.

Why does it take a cross-party group in Carmarthenshire County Council to understand that you should not be honouring and in effect celebrating a former governor of Trinidad who executed dozens of slaves and tortured a fourteen-year-old girl?

There should be no delay or prevarication over this by the Council if they are against racism then they should remove what is in effect a commemoration of a racist now.

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