Young British Jews stage impromptu Black Lives Matter solidarity protest in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Protestors hold banners supporting the global fight against anti-black racism and also call for justice for those affected by the Grenfell Fire tragedy three years ago


Around 150 young British Jews have staged an impromptu demonstration to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Protestors stationed themselves at various points on the busy A1 road at the junction of Market Place, holding placards declaring support for the global campaign against anti-black racism – while also calling for justice for those affected by the Grenfell Towers fire tragedy and the Windrush generation scandal.

Motorists passing the protesters responded to placards urging them to beep their horns during the demo which continued throughout Sunday afternoon.

The event had been organised by a loose-knit grouping of young Jews on a Facebook group titled Jews in Solidarity with BLM – North London Protest.

While representatives from groups such as the Jewish Labour Movement and Yachad were present, one organiser said it was "heartening to see how many people had just come along spontaneously – not just the usual suspects."

Rebecca Moss and Rachel Rose, who helped organise the protest, said:“It is important in the Jewish community for us to stand up and show our support for Black Lives Matter and to stand in solidarity with Black British communities and with Black Jews in particular, as well as other Jews of Colour.

''We are glad to have seen so many people from different backgrounds and of varying ages, and it’s important that many could attend their first protest in such a supportive atmosphere.

“This cannot be the end of the essential conversation and action in our communities and in British society at large.''

During the afternoon Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, former Labour MP Luciana Berger and Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism Laura Janner-Klausner were among those to stop and show their support for the protest.

Liron Velleman, another of those behind the Facebook group that called for the protest, told the JC: "This has been a spontaneous event that has built up over the last few days amongst young people in the community who thought they should do more to use their voices to promote the voices of black people in this country – and across the world.

"It was about bringing Jews together to promote Black Lives Matter.

"It was hastily arranged but the fact that we can attract this many people on a Sunday during a pandemic shows there is a desire in the community to do more to raise our voices about the oppression of black people."

It is understood there had been plans for a "Jewish bloc" at Saturday’s demonstration in central London but that was stopped after BLM organisers urged people to stay away because of the far-right protest, which saw shocking scenes of violence.

On Sunday Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl condemned the actions of the far-right at Saturday’s protests.

She said: "As the country marks three years since the Grenfell Tower fire - which disproportionately impacted Black and Asian people - the sight of neo-Nazis rioting on our streets this weekend will exacerbate the anxieties of many communities. The far-right remind us that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution in our society.”


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