A Tough Decision

7 Jun

I did something yesterday that’s made a lot of people angry. I knew it would and I knew the risks but I decided to go ahead and do it and also do my best to minimise the risks to others. I went to the #BlackLivesMatter protest in Swansea.


It wasn’t a hasty decision and I was masked, gloved, sanitised and as I’m an anti-social git anyway, kept well away from others and didn’t speak to anyone else.

It was quite large, but in a very big space and most of the people I saw had masks on – the organisers were handing out masks to the very few who arrived without. Because it’s on the flat, I couldn’t see the whole crowd, but social distancing seemed to be happening around me and not many people were moving around.

My actions upset a lot of people, and I respect their point of view, but we’ll have to agree to disagree. The event was organised with the approval of the police and local authority, the police were there and there was no trouble. I felt it was safer than any shop I’ve been in since lockdown and safer than walking through the city centre, where few people wear masks or move out of their way to keep their distance. Will it cause a spike in Covid19 cases? Time will tell.

I also finished cutting two small lino blocks, printed them onto cotton fabric and they will be made up into masks as part of a large scale ongoing pandemic art project. I’ve been waiting for a supply of lino to arrive and now it has, I hope to move quickly on this. It’s going to be big.

I’ve upset some people by allying myself with #BlackLivesMatter.  Lots of arguments about this online, but I’m not going to rehash them here. The Black Lives Matter movement exists to to build local power and to intervene when violence is inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Please click on the link if you want to make a donation. Thank you.

Some of the angry people I’ve encountered have been very vocal about the late Lee Rigby. The  Lee Rigby Foundation and Lyn Rigby, Lee’s mother, have acted with dignity and grace and requested that people stop doing this and that Lee’s memory is respected. Their thoughts and support go out to George Floyd’s family. The Foundation supports military families, veterans and personnel whatever their ethnic background, creed, sexuality, gender. Please click on the link to make a donation. Thank you.

23 Responses to “A Tough Decision”

  1. Alli Farkas June 10, 2020 at 19:45 #

    I suspect you would have thought less of yourself had you not made this difficult decision. I’m glad it turned out safe and peaceful.💗

    • Rosie Scribblah June 11, 2020 at 10:32 #

      Thanks Alli. I guessed it would, this is a pretty peaceful, laid back sort of place xx

  2. Leonie Andrews June 8, 2020 at 14:22 #

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. We didn’t attend the marches in our city, but I am grateful for those who did. I was very aware that our political leaders were very much using COVID-19 as an excuse to discourage people from protesting on the matter, which here is about Aboriginal deaths in custody and our inherently racist policies.

    I can’t help but feel it was one of many recent moves by our conservative government to roll back all sorts of rights in this country. Indeed as Australia moves closer to containing the spread of the virus, the government is moving swiftly to roll back measures to support some (but not all people). Indeed today it was announced that free childcare, which was supposed to last until September, will revert back to the previous paid system in July. Many have observed that the people who got the least support were women and students, those least likely to support the incumbent government.

    We had, for a very brief moment, the sense of what could be achieved through bipartisanship. Now it is being whisked away without regard to anything other than political priorities.

    It is a very heavy time with lots to think about and to act on. Time to stand up and be counted.

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 15:03 #

      Thanks Leonie, it’s interesting to hear an Australian perspective. The risks of Covid19 are so serious. The protest I attended was very calm and respectful and people work masks and kept a reasonable distance, but some others in the UK have been awful and might increase the risk of Covid19 spreading. It’s a balancing act at the moment xxx

  3. kestrelart June 8, 2020 at 10:15 #

    I also thought how much braver and more from the heart your post was than mine on the same subject.

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 11:15 #

      I love your post, it’s such a good read. It’s always a problem with longer posts, whether they will keep people’s attention but your is so moving, it did. Thanks

  4. kestrelart June 8, 2020 at 08:03 #

    A good decision. How is Lee Rigby’s murder even connected with this except that opposing murder by fascists is a common cause? Terrorism is terrorism whoever commits it.
    I couldn’t go to Birmingham protest as I was working. Also I was torn not just for personal and public safety but because I have to come into contact with patients regularly. I think that makes the balance different for me than most people. So I donated to BLM. We have a platform, small though it is. We must use this.
    White people have a duty to stand on this. It is for us to educate ourselves. But you show her how hard that is and how much courage it takes to do this when those you love can’t see the importance of universal justice and freedom.

    • kestrelart June 8, 2020 at 08:04 #

      Here not her

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 11:16 #

      Oh Facebook was an absolute bearpit over the weekend. It was almost as bad as Twitter, and that takes some doing!

      • kestrelart June 8, 2020 at 11:27 #

        I guess it depends on who you follow. I don’t use face book at all any more. I joined Twitter to follow the Labour leadership so signed up to all MPs then progressively added some PC SNP and Green and some good local and national journalists plus a few others, now including public health and epidemiology. I block tories and angry right wingers right away. So it’s a bubble I get that. I’m not in tune with how most people think. So I’ve completely missed the bear pit you describe.

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 12:27 #

      I generally follow artists over FB and Instagram, a slightly wider following on Twitter, but this has shown that although you can connect with people through art, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll be even remotely in tune with you politically. I guess I was naive to assume people would. Ho hum

      • kestrelart June 8, 2020 at 14:34 #

        Interesting. But by going outside the bubble you are doing what has to be done. Whichi have not even thought about. That’s brave. It’s what we have to do. Who would have seen Lee Rigby’s murder as an argument against BLM? I would not have seen this. People must be blaming all Black people for that terrible crime because of the colour of the murderers’ skins.

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 14:56 #

      Well, I think it’s more of a ‘What About White People’ thing than blaming black people directly for LRs death. Often accompanied by ‘Where were you when LR died?’ and ‘You didn’t protest when LR died!’. Bear in mind that LRs family have set up a Foundation in his memory that promotes peace and cohesion and have expressely refused permission for demos and protests to be held in LRs name. Just racists clinging to straws and besmirching the good name of a good man while distressing his family.

  5. Catwoods June 8, 2020 at 02:11 #

    A good decision, Rosie. I was in demonstrations in the 60’s and thought we would have come so much closer to a compassionate and kind world by now. sigh.

  6. Dave & Dori June 8, 2020 at 01:12 #

    Well done. Thank you.

  7. Lois June 8, 2020 at 00:20 #

    #BlackLivesMatter – well done, indeed a brave decision but absolutely the right decision. Proud of you!! xxx

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 11:17 #

      Thank you Lois. A tough call, but I did what I could to protect others x

  8. Genie Geer June 7, 2020 at 22:54 #

    BRAVO my dear. Genie in Dallas

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 11:18 #

      Thank you Genie, it’s nice to come into the relatively calm world of WordPress after the mayhem of Facebook and Twitter over the weekend xx

  9. https://jotsfromasmallapt.com June 7, 2020 at 21:43 #

    Heartfelt support to you, Rosie. Hands across our dividing ocean…further than six feet…yet so very close. Raye in Salem, Oregon.

    • Rosie Scribblah June 8, 2020 at 11:20 #

      Thank you Raye, it’s so nice to connect up with people through WordPress xxx

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