Below is the speech from Deji Olay [Birmingham Socialist Party] at the massive Black Lives Matter protest in Coventry on Sunday 7th June.
My name’s Deji, I’m a member of the Socialist Party, and I’m here for the same reason as all of you. Because we’ve seen too much injustice, we’ve seen too much police brutality, and we’ve seen too much harm being done to our communities, and to our world around us.
And its not a bug; its a feature. This is systematic. The country’s democracy is a sham, and these laws are there to protect the elite. They’re there to protect capitalism, order, to protect the guys that control everything. But they don’t protect our communities, they don’t protect us. Its a racist elite that choose these laws. Its a racist elite that choose police violence because it protects their stores, and it protects their wealth. But we don’t own the stores; we just work in them. We don’t choose these laws. We don’t own these offices, we just work in them, and these laws aren’t for us.
We need to change the system. We need to protect our communities, we need to protect our libraries, and we need to protect ourselves. We need socialism to fund our libraries, and we need socialism to fund our gyms, and we need socialism to fund our community services.
Rest in peace, everyone that died because of police brutality. Rest in peace, everyone that died in Grenfell tower.
This country has weaponised racism for profit. This country, the leaders, have got their wealth on the back of slaves. They got their wealth from Africa. They got their profits from exploiting Nigeria, South Africa… and they’re still profiting from Africa.
In America, in the UK, in the Caribbean, in Africa, we are all one people.
We’re all living under the same system. And nothing will change until we change this system, until we get rid of this racism, until we get rid of capitalism.
We’ve got to organise. Like the Haitians when they overthrew slavery, we’ve got to organise and overthrow capitalism in this country and in the world.
We need to educate ourselves after this demo. Because these people, they promised us education, but all they’ve given us is tests and scores and bull**** educations.
We need to learn about the Black Panthers Party, and we need to read about Huey P. Newton, and we need to read about Freddy Hampton, and we need to learn about the Black Panthers’ revolutionary programme. And we need to read Karl Marx because they did.
We’ll learn that racism won’t go without changing the entire system. Because its not just a few bad apples, its structural problems. Its these problems. Fred Hampton was the leader of the Black Panthers, and he built a rainbow coalition, uniting white people, Asian people, black people against racism, sexism, and capitalism. That’s why I’m so happy to see so many to see so many different people out here tonight…
I’ll finish with his words: we’re going to fight racism, not with racism, but we’re going to fight it with solidarity. We’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, we’re going to fight it with socialism!
Join the struggle against racism and capitalism! Join the Socialist Party today!