I want to thank each of you for turning up on short notice. As I look out here I see the beautiful rainbow that is our Jersey society. I see men and women, black and white, young and old, LGBT, all faiths and none, all of us here united to say with one voice that we reject the racist violence perpetrated against George Floyd and too many others.
We stand in solidarity with the brave men and women in America and around the world who stand up to injustice wherever they find it.
But most importantly, we are here to say to people in Jersey, our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, from ethnic minorities or other nationalities, that we stand with you, we celebrate all you contribute to what makes our society so special, and we will never let you come into harms way because of the depravity that is racial injustice.
I want to thank you Chief of Police, Robin Smith, for his commitment that our police in Jersey will never descend to the behaviour of their American counterparts, because they understand that our diversity is a source of our strength.
I also want to thank the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator John Le Fondré, who is at a D-Day commemoration today, marking that crucial moment in the fight against the Nazis, but has sent his support for this demonstration and asked me to pass on those words to you.
And I want to thank the organisers of this demonstration for ensuring that it will be recorded that we in Jersey were on the right side of history.
We live in dark times. Whilst the world is engulfed by a deadly pandemic which brings hardship and anxiety on so many, on top of that we also face the horror of what seems like a growing tide of racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, anti-semitism and homophobia, often incited by cowardly politicians and their paymasters in the media and big business, who exploit these divisions for their own self-interest.
But we must always remember that we are many and they are few.
The power is in our hands to fight for a fairer society for us all to enjoy, no matter what our background is.
Even though we have plenty to feel angry about, I ask you not to leave this event feeling angry. Leave it instead feeling determined and inspired
There are still injustices here we need to tackle. We still have to do more to tackle racism, sexism and homophobia here. But crucially we must accept that our freedom from the injustices of racism and prejudice are incomplete with our freedom from economic injustice. Our growing gap between the rich and poor must be addressed as a priority alongside these other injustices.
So I urge you to stay inspired, stay involved, get organised and whilst showing our solidarity with others around the world, make sure you play your part in securing a fairer society here, and I promise you on behalf of Reform Jersey, we will be alongside you every single step of the way.
I want to end with a quote which I hope sums up our sense of optimism though we face these dark times. It is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr, who said “let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great national with all their scintillating beauty”.