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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 1, 2020

GAMBIANS TO DEMONSTRATE AGAINST US POLICE KILLINGS

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Scores of people are expected to take part in a demonstration in the country as Gambians join the rest of the world to condemn US police killings of unarmed blacks.
Dozens of states in America have been on fire since last week after a footage appeared online showing a US police officer resting his knee on the neck of a black American, George Floyd, who eventually died.

There have been massive violent riots across the country since, as the police clash with protesters using rubber bullets and pepper sprays to disperse crowds.
In The Gambia while people followed the ugly developments in some states in the US, news broke Saturday night that a Gambian, Momodou Lamin Sisay, son of a UN diplomat Lare Sisay was shot dead by the police in Georgia. The police claimed Sisay was involved in a shootout.

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The news, which came on the heels of strings of police killings of blacks in America, caused a huge uproar among Gambians.
Madi Jobarteh, a human rights activist, said a police permit will be sought to hold a procession in front of the US Embassy in Banjul to convey their dissatisfaction with the way blacks are treated by US police.

“The protest is planned for Monday June 8 at 10am. We will converge in silence. We will stand on one knee like Colin Kaepernick to symbolize our mourning and condemnation of the acts of violence meted out to Blacks in the US by the police. By 10:30am we will hand over a signed petition to the Ambassador and then peacefully disperse. You can sign the petition if you come to the protest site.

“We will ensure social distancing and we urge all to donate and bring face masks, water buckets and soap and hand sanitizers in respect of the state of emergency regulations,” Madi said.

Giving a bit of context to the planned protest, Mr Jobarteh added: “It was white people from Europe and America who got up on their own to come to Africa hundreds of years ago to forcefully kidnap our ancestors and then carry them into slavery in the Americas against their will. Kunta Kinteh never asked to be made a slave. The kings and people of Niumi never invited white people to visit their village to kidnap Kunta Kinteh. Rather slavery was the imagination and invention of White People and it was Europe and the United States that emerged successful from slavery. The people of Juffureh, Niumi, The Gambia and the entire Africa only lost and became weak socially, economically and politically because of slavery.

Kunta Kinteh and his descendants worked all their lives in the United States to build the country and its vast economy to what it is today, for free. Our Ancestor Kunta was never paid for his labour. Even when the US President Abraham Lincoln declared in 1863 that he had freed the slaves, the US Government until today has failed to pay back its Black citizens their fair share or uphold and protect their rights. Even the promise of forty acres and a mule that the US Government said it would give to each and every Black person since 1865 until today the US Government has failed to fulfill that promise.”

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