At a time when we should all be coming together to fight this global pandemic, the issue of racism has reared its ugly head again and divided families and cities.

Like many we were shocked by the tragic and senseless murder of George Floyd; on behalf of the people of this borough of Calderdale we offer our thoughts and sympathies to everyone affected by his death, and by the subsequent events as many peacefully exercising their right to protest have been met with force by police.

Calderdale has always been a safe, welcoming area with many diverse and vibrant communities and we oppose any discrimination, hate speech or racially motivated activity. That is why we stand united with the Black Lives matter movement. We are proud of the ‘policing by consent’ model on which our police forces operate and we know that our local police officers work hard to keep all our communities safe.

It is important that we all take time to pause and reflect on the horrific death of George Floyd. Many of us will be feeling anger and sadness about what is happening in U.S. cities now. It is difficult at the moment for us to show our solidarity in the traditional ways of protest as we juggle with social distancing but we would urge anyone, regardless of their race, who is upset by these events to make their voices strongly heard nonetheless in a peaceful constructive way by signing petitions, donating to charities and showing justice and kindness in all our communities.

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