Walks will take a stand against racism

Shetlanders are getting the chance to take a stand against racism, while still sticking to social distancing guidelines.

Walks are being planned for this Saturday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has gained momentum internationally since the death of George Floyd – a 46 year-old black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The local campaign Shetland Staands wi Black Lives Matter has been spearheaded by campaigner Joy Duncan, who is flying anti-racism flags outside her East Voe home.

“Since Wednesday we’ve been setting up a Shetland group to support Black Lives Matter, and we’ve now got the green light to do a walk on Saturday.

“People want to express something over George Floyd. People are upset, but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t upset lockdown regulations.”

The local group hopes to see walks taking place “in every community in Shetland” from 2pm.

She said posters displaying information would be available for people on their daily walks, which they could display in their home or car window.

Online arrangements will be made for those who wish to take part but are unable to do so.

“You take your daily walk in your community, whether it be Brae or Dunrossness. There’ll be a station at each point where you pick up a poster. You take your poster with you and you stick it in your window, and it’s making a voice.”

An online group under the “Shetland Staands Wi Black Lives Matter” banner is also being established, to provide key information and help raise awareness.

“On a personal level I have tried to challenge racism head on several times in Shetland to varying degrees of success.

“But now is the time that people can really put their voices together and be heard and make a positive difference.”

The news comes after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down in Bristol during racial equality protests over the weekend – moves that were criticised by Home Secretary Priti Patel.


Add Your Comment
  • John Thomas

    • June 11th, 2020 12:37

    It’s great to see folk taking positive steps to tackle racism, and all credit to the Shetland Times for covering this. I do wonder why, of all the related news to tag on the end, the statue was chosen.
    This incident is being used to shift the conversation. It deflects from the message of these protests – which is what should we be doing. It’s lovely saying “I’m not a racist”. But given the shocking structural racism that exists in our own society, what are we actually doing to counter it? (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/643001/lammy-review-final-report.pdf)

    The time has come for people to stop being passive bystanders. We need more great people like Joy and everyone who is helping her to step up. Not being racist doesn’t solve the problem. It’s time we all took Joy’s message to heart and started being actively anti racist if we want to build a better society.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.