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Petitions

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 9 June 2020

Sale of Riot Equipment to the United States of America

Following the death of George Floyd, we have seen mass protests across the world, which have struck a chord with every single one of us, but we must do more than just protest. Those of us with a voice in this House must speak up for the voiceless. We need to consider our own role in tackling racism in all its forms and challenging the deeply uncomfortable history and legacy of racism and discrimination in these islands. We are not powerless. We can also act to stop the disproportionate force that has been unleashed on ordinary Americans demonstrating for justice who have been met with the brutality of UK-made riot equipment.

I rise tonight to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of constituents who want it heard loud and clear in this House that Black Lives Matter and that no action is no option.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Glasgow East,

Declares that the current volatile situation in the United States of America following the death of George Floyd is of great concern to many people in Scotland; considers that Black Lives Matter protests have been largely peaceful but that a disproportionate and heavy-handed police response has further stoked tensions, resulting in many injured protestors; and further that President Donald Trump’s actions have not helped to de-escalate tensions.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to immediately suspend the sale of riot equipment to the United States of America and make representations to seek a de-escalation of tensions.

And the petitioners remain etc.

[P002571]

My constituents in North Ayrshire and Arran have watched the unfolding events in the United States. They have alarmed and appalled them and led them to reflect on inequality in the US and our own societies. They seek confirmation and affirmation from all in this House that Black Lives Matter, and matter to us all.

The petition says:

The Petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the current volatile situation in the United States of America following the death of George Floyd is of great concern to many people in Scotland; considers that Black Lives Matter protests have been largely peaceful but that a disproportionate and heavy-handed police response has further stoked tensions, resulting in many injured protestors; and further that President Donald Trump’s actions have not helped to de-escalate tensions.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to immediately suspend the sale of riot equipment to the United States of America and make representations to seek a de-escalation of tensions.

And the petitioners remain etc.

[P002569]

On the day of George Floyd’s funeral, I rise to present a petition on behalf of my Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituents who, like many across the world, were rightly angry at his killing. They have expressed concerns about institutionalised racism, equipment made in the UK being utilised by heavy-handed police, the ongoing tensions and the stoking of those tensions from the outset by President Trump, and that too often the UK Government turn a blind eye to what happens to weapons and equipment shipped from the UK to other countries. In this instance, my constituents are calling for an immediate halt to the sale of riot equipment to the United States and meaningful representations to seek a de-escalation of tensions. I hope that their wishes are respected and that the Black Lives Matter campaign achieves its aim of equality and the elimination of the scourge of racism.

The petition says:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to immediately suspend the sale of riot equipment to the United States of America and make representations to seek a de-escalation of tensions.

And the petitioners remain etc.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of residents of the constituency of Kilmarnock and Loudoun,

Declares that the current volatile situation in the United States of America following the death of George Floyd is of great concern to many people in Scotland; considers that Black Lives Matter protests have been largely peaceful but that a disproportionate and heavy-handed police response has further stoked tensions, resulting in many injured protestors; and further that President Donald Trump’s actions have not helped to de-escalate tensions.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to immediately suspend the sale of riot equipment to the United States of America and make representations to seek a de-escalation of tensions.

And the petitioners remain etc.]

[P002570]