PES stands in solidarity as world remembers George Floyd

PES stands in solidarity as world remembers George Floyd

The PES expresses its solidarity with, and support for, all those who are peacefully campaigning around the world to end racism. We condemn the racist discrimination and violence in the US – often directed by the Police and others in positions of authority – which continues to lead to the inhumane murder of African Americans.  

The final words of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Manuel Ellis and the many other victims of racist brutality – “I can’t breathe” – have come to encapsulate the racism African Americans and others across the world face every day: the silencing of a voice, the deprivation of the fundamental right to air, to life itself. The PES hears these words. We will never be silent in the face of injustice.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Today, the world remembers George Floyd. His last words – “I can’t breathe” – were met with apathy from his killers. Just as the same words were ignored during other acts of racist police violence. Today, “I can’t breathe” resonates around the world as a rallying call for human dignity.

“For too long African Americans have faced inequality and injustice. But we should not pretend that racism is just a US problem. Racism kills on this continent too. Europe needs to focus on the values which the European Union was built on – equality, community and respect for human rights. These values must be for all citizens.

“Racism is a failure of humanity. Institutional racism is the failure of society. This discrimination must have absolutely no place in a progressive democracy. The excessive force directed at minorities must be firmly condemned. No one can be above the law, whatever their colour, gender or profession. These points deserve to be heard and recognised.

“Today, as the life of George Floyd is remembered, we reaffirm our commitment to a society based on respect, equality and social justice. The tragedy of his death cannot be undone. But this can be the moment that together we say enough is enough. Change must come.”

Socialists, social democrats and democrats will never be silent in the face of injustice. We remain vigilant and will continue to work to ensure discrimination and acts of violence are not repeated. George Floyd’s unlawful killing must lead to concrete actions to bring about equality in the US, Europe and everywhere else in the world.