Bobbies in Babylon: Black Resistance to British Policing
In the summer of 2020, the largest anti-racist protest movement in UK history emerged in solidarity with the murder of George Floyd, drawing attention to police violence in Britain and its borders. As demonstrations spread, radical critiques of the legacies of colonialism and white supremacy proliferated. However, Black resistance to British policing has a longer history which stretches back to movements against slavery and colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Pan-Africanism, labor organizing in Europe’s colonies, and later the Black Power movements point to a deep history of Black international politics. These political projects understood racism as being a phenomenon that has spread across the globe through imperialism. This presentation will examine the ways that Black Lives Matter protest movements in Britain, which emerge in the 21st century, are navigating a very different political environment to the campaigns which preceded it, and is thus articulating its politics in ways that reflect the changing nature of racism.
Adam Elliott-Cooper received his PhD from the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, in 2016. He has previously worked as a researcher in the Department of Philosophy at UCL, as a teaching fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick and as a research associate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London.
His first monograph, Black Resistance to British Policing, was published by Manchester University Press in May 2021. He is also co-author of Empire’s Endgame: Racism and the British State (Pluto Press, 2021).
He sits on the board of The Monitoring Group, an anti-racist organization challenging state racisms and racial violence.
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- Image Credit/Caption: Photo by Lorenzo Garrido
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