The murder of George Floyd and the violent response to the protests that have followed have once again shown the destructive and life-threatening impact of racism and police brutality against Black Americans. This murder is symbolic of the institutionalised discrimination and dehumanisation of Black people and sparked a new wave of anti-racism protests. Black people deserve the same respect and treatment as white people - after 400 years of racism and inequality.
But racism is not only a U.S American phenomenon. Neither is the fight for justice and equality.
Racism was the ideological base for slavery, exploitation and maltreatment of Black people initiated by white Europeans. Within Europe, Black people, People of Color, migrants, Roma and other minorities experience racism on an everyday basis and continue to be in danger to become victims of fatal violence. Political institutions are predominantly white and lack proper representation. Europe must process its colonial past, which built cultural and societal structures of oppression towards Black people and People of Color that are still effective today and also find expression in the hostile attitudes and policies towards migrants and asylum seekers.
Fighting racism must not be a matter for those affected, it is the task of the entire society. The strength of democracies can best be judged by the way they treat minorities. And our claim to democracy must be that Black people, People of Color and any other person are treated the same - by authorities, by the police, by politics, by society.
In order to fight structural racism, we must therefore look into all areas of society, recognize and eliminate exclusions and intersectional oppression, including within our own parties. Black people and People of Colour must be protected from violence and hostility by strong democratic institutions that also limit the excessive use of force by police and other executive bodies. However, prevention of violence is the bare minimum. Recognition, equal opportunities, visibility and participation are key to fight racism in our diverse society.
As European Greens, we
- express our solidarity with the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement and protests;
- consider to critically process colonial history and the lingering effects that still impact today’s society negatively by withholding the promise of equal rights. This is a basic requirement for a democratic European society that guarantees equal rights for all citizens and value-based global politics;
- acknowledge the influence that European colonial history has on modern society in public spaces and address this through a process of active decolonisation in our streets, city squares and museums;
- demand a comprehensive implementation of education programs on colonial history, decolonisation and anti-racism;
- demand reinforcement and establishment of anti-discrimination trainings;
- demand independent supervisory bodies for police and effective prosecution of violations of justice by police;
- condemn the excessive force used by law enforcement in all cases, but in particular against protesters, members of the press and volunteer medical personnel;
- demand to end racial profiling;
- deem unacceptable the disproportionate use of military equipment and tactics by law-enforcement officers. Redirect budget towards crime prevention and allocate it to civil society, social work, and community organisations, in order to strengthen prevention over repression;
- demand that the disproportionate use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other forms of excessive violence towards Black Lives Matter protestors and others exercising the right to protest, ends;
- demand effective implementation of existing laws and, when applicable, for changes in criminal laws so that they enable prosecution of discriminatory and racist acts across all social and political spectrum;
- demand to enable and encourage diversity and prevent discrimination in the hiring process of public and private employees;
- put measures in place to prevent discrimination and ensure equal opportunities in housing, education, health care, employment, including for migrants and asylum seekers;
- demand European Council to unblock the horizontal anti-discrimination directive;
- demand sufficient financing of civil society fighting racism and discrimination and the strengthening of existing equality bodies;
- commit to developing our own understanding and to bring forward further policy proposals.
As European Greens, we commit to the demands in this resolution, to support justice and equality for Black, People of Color, and all groups impacted by disproportionate police violence against them both when we are in Government or in opposition.