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Oxford JCRs show solidarity with George Floyd protests

A number of JCRs have proposed and passed motions in solidarity with George Floyd and ensuing protests in the United States. 

So far St. Anne’s, Wadham, St. Hilda’s, Regent’s Park, Christ Church, Worcester and St Catz are among the JCRs which have submitted motions for their 6th week JCR meetings. As of the evening of Sunday 31 May, Regent’s Park, St. Hilda’s and Keble are among those which have passed their motions. 

Protests broke out in the US and worldwide after the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, while in police custody. Protests have also occurred in the UK throughout Sunday. 

The JCR motions pledge to donate to organisations including the Minnesota Freedom Fund and the National Lawyers Guild. Both the MFF and the NLG use funds to pay for the bail of those who have been arrested, as well as other legal costs. 

Wadham SU, made up of both undergraduate and graduate students, was the first to propose a motion, which proposed committing £500 from their charity fund to the Freedom Fund. The SU has also submitted a second motion in support of the National Lawyers Guild. 

St. Hilda’s JCR amended their motion to increase the College’s donation from £450 to £499 in support of the Minnesota Freedom Fund; Christ Church has committed £720 to the Black Visions Collective, Reclaim The Block, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund; Regent’s Park JCR has committed £50 in support of the National Lawyers Guild; Worcester has committed £200 to the Black Visions Collective, and Keble has committed £500 to National Lawyers Guild.

St Catz’s motion is to pass a letter of solidarity with the protesters, as their constitution prevents direct donation.

Wadham’s motion, as with those of other colleges, notes that “Police brutality is not confined to America but materially impacts Black British people and this includes Wadham students.”

Henna Khanom, who proposed Wadham’s motion, from which many JCRs have adapted their own motions, stated: “Standing up against police brutality and systematic racism is especially important for Oxford colleges given Oxford’s history, having profited off transatlantic slavery from the likes of Codrington at All Souls to Burge at Wadham.

“The system of carceral violence we are witnessing in America right now is the legacy of such slavery, and so Oxford is intimately tied to issues of racial justice whether we choose to acknowledge this or not.

“More and more JCRs are standing in international solidarity to demand justice against these systems of racial violence. If your JCR hasn’t yet done so, I would urge to consider raising a motion.”

This article was edited at 21.50 to include Worcester in the list of colleges who have passed motions.

Image credit to Phil Roeder / Wikimedia Commons.

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