Protestors are unaware of ‘wicked anti-police agenda’ of Black Lives Matter: DUP MP
A DUP MP has urged people who sympathise with dead US detainee George Floyd to be wary of the “wicked agenda” which some Black Lives Matter demonstrators have.
Sammy Wilson told the News Letter he had received a raft of letters from constituents whom he described as at best naive, and at worst having an “anti-police” agenda.
The East Antrim MP, who holds the powerful post of chief whip within the party, is one of few politicians in Northern Ireland to have spoken out against the more hardline aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement – which has grown in momentum after the death of Mr Floyd in Minnesota on May 25.
The Black Lives Matter movement was started in the USA in 2013 following the death of a young black man called Trayvon Martin; the Hispanic-German gunman who shot him was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
Two of the founders of the movement have spoken of being inspired by Assata Shakur – a police killer and fugitive who features on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.
And one of the concrete demands of the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA is to “defund” police departments.
Mr Wilson said of Mr Floyd’s death: “I’ve no difficulty at all with people expressing their abhorrence to the way that poor man was treated by the police in America. It wouldn’t be the first time it’d happened.
“But this is no longer about some man who was killed by the police. This is politically driven.
“Clearly, if you look at the demands, it’s been driven by people who have an anti-state motivation.
“I’m even getting letters from constituents (who, I suppose, either naively don’t realise what these people are up to, or are anti-police themselves) encouraging me to write to the government to have supplies of tear gas and rubber bullets to police in America stopped.”
Asked if he believes many protestors in Northern Ireland really know what the US-based Black Lives Matter movement stands for, he said: “No. This is a typical left-wing anarchist tactic.
“They latch on to something which appeals to the public’s emotions, and then use it as a driver for their own agenda – which they know most people would have no sympathy with at all.
“I mean, can you imagine what a society would be like without proper policing? We’ve seen it in Northern Ireland – thugs take over!
“And yet here you’ve all these people out supporting an organisation whose ultimate aim is to promote the kind of anarchy you would have if you didn’t have a properly funded, properly equipped police force.
“Most people think like I do on this: that poor man did not deserve [to die] – and whoever did that ought to be punished with the full force of the law.
“But others tap into that sympathy for an agenda I guarantee most people would have no sympathy with: defund police, change the whole structure of society, build up grievances which will cause even more dissension.”
Black Lives Matter advocate says DUP MP ‘must recognise his role in an overall system of anti-black oppression’
WHAT DID PROTESTORS’ SIGNS SAY?:
The News Letter has delved into photographs from the Saturday demonstrations in Belfast and Londonderry, to get a flavour of the range of views present.
Here are a number of the messages:
‘We are all one in Jesus Christ: Galatians 3:28’
‘Cops are pigs’
‘Racism is a pandemic’
‘Black Lives Matter’ – probably the most common sign
‘More blacks, more dogs, more Irish’
‘Black LGBTQ lives matter’
‘Their blood is on your hands, Mr President’
‘Prosecute killer police’
‘ACAB (all cops are b*****ds)’ – seen on several different signs and at both locations
‘The UK / Ireland are not innocent’
‘Black queer lives matter’
‘Black people are 4X more likely to die from Covid 19. Do something Boris. Oh wait that would mean dismantling your pyramid scheme of underpaid workers who you bash in your racist immigration rhetoric’
‘End state funded murder’
‘Make racists afraid again’
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.