social justice

26 petitions

Started 1 day ago

Petition to Glasgow City Council

Remove the racist, colonial statue of Frederick Roberts in the Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow.

With the removal of a confederate monument in Charlottesville that led to the terrorist attack of a white supremacist on an anti-racism protest in August 2017, crucial debates are taking place all over the USA about the glorification of racist monuments. However, such debates should not be restricted to the USA. Whether it is in the USA or the UK, we should not have to be watched by silent reminders that reinforce the white supremacist systems that oppress minorities. Many imperial statues, such as Cecil Rhodes in Oxford, still stand tall and glorify the “greatness” of the British Empire. Such cold-hearted, imperial relics leave the 8.4 million Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people all over the UK feeling like inadequate, second-class citizens. As a person of Indian origin living in Glasgow, I have spent almost every rare sunny day lounging on the lawns of the Kelvingrove Park. On the highest hill of the park, the Frederick Roberts monument has often haunted me. It always reminds me of the British Empire’s inglorious past that oppressed my Indian ancestors for several centuries; a past that is still celebrated by many today. Straddling his harnessed horse, in his military attire, peering in the distance at the University of Glasgow and the Kelvingrove Museum, the statue of Frederick Roberts is granted the most prestigious position in one of Glasgow’s most beautiful parks. One might begin to wonder what glory this white man must have achieved to gain such an honourable seat. Fear not. The inscriptions on his pedestal, listing his violent victories, justify his perch for the inquisitive visitor:  “INDIAN MUTINY, UMBEYLA, ABYSSINIA, LUSHAI, AFGHANISTAN BURMAH, SOUTH AFRICA ‘I seem to see the gleam in the distance of the weapons and the accoutrements of this Army, this Citizen Army, the wonder of these islands, and the pledge of the peace and of the continued greatness of this Empire.’ Extract from Lord Roberts’ Speech in Glasgow on 6th March 1913.” Is Roberts’ “pledge of peace” really reflected by his conquests in the listed wars? Looking into his actions during the Indian Revolt and the Second Anglo-Boer War, it is obvious that his statue is inappropriate today. After the “Indian Mutiny”, Frederick Roberts was applauded for his “gallantry” in 1858 when he murdered numerous Indian soldiers. These Indian soldiers, or Sepoys, were fighting for the freedom of their country from the chains of the British Empire, which was unfortunately only achieved a century later. 800,000 Indians were killed during the Indian Revolt and its aftermath included one of the many famines caused by the misdistribution of food under British rule. Many Indians who escaped death were sent to concentration camps to work as life-long indentured workers, very much like slaves. When slavery was abolished in the USA in 1865 and in the British Empire in 1833, the British Empire was still trading Indian indentured workers across the globe in the same slave ships to do the work that black African slaves had been forced to do for five centuries. While the UK still holds close ties with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as Commonwealth countries, even making chicken tikka masala its national dish, the UK needs to stop glorifying violent, racist warriors such as Frederick Roberts who personifies the oppression of BME people in the name of “peace” and “greatness”. During the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899 in South Africa, Roberts led the British forces against the Boers, the Afrikaans-speaking white South African descendants of the Dutch colonisers in South Africa. He burned farms and created concentration camps for Boers to force them to submit. The concentration camps lacked food, space, medical care and the conditions resulted in the spread of disease and the death of 26,370 women and children. Yet, the fate of the Boers was not as terrible as that of many black South Africans. While Roberts’ war was taking place, the British Empire continued to operate an indenture system for Xhosas, since October 1843, similar to slavery and the Indian forced labour system – again, ironically, after it had formally abolished slavery. It is clear that Frederick Roberts propagated racism, violence and injustice which allowed the British Empire to prosper. Just like the USA, it is time for the UK to come to terms with its darker history and acknowledge the value of BME people and their ancestors, without glorifying the white supremacy that oppressed them. Frederick Roberts’ statue belongs in a colonial museum where people can learn more about the suffering caused by the British Empire and the moral, human costs of Victorian prosperity. Allowing this statue to remain in the Kelvingrove Park will only further deepen national amnesia. It undermines the role of BME people in British history with their endless contributions to British economic and socio-political prosperity in the past and still today. Please remove the racist, colonial monument!

Melina V
34 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Uganda Gover, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga

Uganda's 10th Parliament: Join the Movement to Stop Acid Attack Violence in Uganda

How many more people have to be attacked for the Acid Attack Violence Control Law to come into existence? Who should be the next victim for the Government of Uganda to pay attention to our outcry? My name is Hanifa Nakiryowa, the founder of the Center for Rehabilitation of Survivors of Acid and burns Violence (CERESAV). I suffered this horrendous act of human terrorism in 2011, 3 months after quitting an abusive marriage. It is now six years since that Acid Attack that changed my entire life, dreams, and hopes. It has been six years of crying out for an end to this inhumane form of violence. Acid Attack Violence is a form of Gender Based Violence that disproportionately affects women like me and children like my seven-year-old daughter, who sustained burns, and my 10-year-old daughter, who witnessed it all as it happened. It has been six years and it still happens today as it did six years ago. Seeing another human being victimized by the same Acid Attack Violence brings me the worst memories. It traumatizes my children who witnessed my own attack and live with it every day of their lives and will live with it for the rest of their lives. They put up with the bullies trying to defend my identity everywhere they go. My children need a chance to be children. All children need a chance to be young and only young. They don't deserve to go through this form of invisible victimization. It is time for us to embark on a rigorous advocacy campaign in Uganda to have the Acid attack Violence Control Bill passed so we can have no more Victims. Together we can save the next victim. Let us together spread this awareness. Please, Help us share this sensitization video on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram until we attract the attention required to bring the change. We have accomplished a lot together. We have shown love together. We have shared great ideas together. Up to this point, we are still standing together. You have demonstrated a priceless sense of humanity by continuing to stand with us. NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND TOGETHER EVEN STRONGER to call on the 10th PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA to take action.We have done our part.Let us pressure them to do their part too! TOGETHER WE SIGNED THE TOXIC CHEMICALS PROHIBITION AND CONTROL BILL PETITION TO VICTORY. TOGETHER WE CAN SPREAD THE AWARENESS AND GET THIS PETITION SIGNED TO VICTORY. SincerelyHanifa Nakiryowa, On Behalf of the CERESAV Team

Center for Rehabilitation of Survivors of Acid and burns Violence (CERESAV)
9,251 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Great Ormond Street Hospital

GOSH: Release Charlie Gard to USA for treatment

Charlie Gard's life hangs in the balance, and time is running out. I am writing to appeal, urge and indeed, beg you to grant him clemency. I call upon you to release Charlie Gard from Great Ormond Street Hospital for the purpose of his parents taking him to America to try the experimental treatment they have found that will at least give Charlie a chance at life. He has an inalienable right to life, just as his parents have inalienable rights to make the ultimate decision regarding his treatment. He is being held in your hospital against their will, and his life support machines are due to be switched off against their will. This is not democracy. This is dictatorship. The court decisions are final, so the solution to this matter rests only with you now. We, the undersigned, beg you to grant Charlie Gard clemency by acknowledging his right to life and his parents' rights to make the ultimate decision about his care and medical treatments, and by releasing him from your care so that his parents can try the treatment that the doctor in the USA is ready and willing to give him. This is an urgent matter, and lives are at stake, as is Great Ormond Street Hosptial's reputation, which is threatening to also bring down the reputations of the NHS and indeed, Britain itself. I thank you for reading this, and I beg you to please act, and please act swiftly. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, who stand with Charlie and his parents, will be exceedingly grateful to you.

Lois McKiernan
195 supporters