GMB sends solidarity to Dawn Butler over racist threats

The GMB has sent a message of solidarity to MP Dawn Butler, who closed her constituency office after receiving death threats.

The Brent Central MP, who used to work for the GMB, said last week her office “could not reasonably be made Covid-19 safe”, adding: “Whilst not the primary reason for its closure, is the continual security risk to everyone working within a very visible high street office.

“My staff have been attacked in the office, verbally assaulted coming and going from work, bricks have been thrown through the windows and the frontage has been smashed. I have had to work extensively with police and security staff to simply try and create a safe working environment for my employees. Many of these incidents were not made public in order to not encourage copycat attacks.

“Sadly in recent months, the threat to myself and my staff has drastically escalated. Last month the police arrested one person and are currently pursuing others as I continue to speak out on key issues such as the impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community, the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. I continue to receive on an almost daily basis threats of violence and death threats.”

GMB National Equality Race Lead Taranjit Chana said: “We stand in solidarity with Dawn Butler MP and her staff who have made the difficult decision to close one of their constituency Office in Willesden, London under COVID 19.

“As a GMB member, staunch trade unionist, anti-racist campaigner and equality activists for all, Dawn consistently raises and speaks on key issues impacting Black Asian Minority Ethnic people of Covid 19 and Black Lives Matter uprisings.

“Dawn is the first black woman to speak at the dispatch box in Parliament.

“We hear and see you Dawn, and your staff, and acknowledge the everyday racism which we as Black Asian Minority Ethnic workers face each day and escalating over the last few months. We read about your staff being “attacked in the office, verbally assaulted going into and from work, bricks being thrown through the windows and the frontage smashed.”

“These are times when “ in a racist society it is not enough to be non -racist, we  must be anti-racist ” Angela Y. Davis.

As Black Asian Minority Ethnic people we know how the last few months has played  on our well – being and general  health  with difficult decision  to  make like do we go into work, are we safe in the workplace, can  we ask to work from home, etc amidst the pandemic and the increase in racism  being played out  through in your face racism, structurally, institutionally and globally.

We stand in solidarity with Dawn Butler MP and her staff who continue to work in these circumstances.

Just like Dawn says, “we will not be silenced”, “Our community is our strength”

Much love, kindness and solidarity always.

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