Black Lives Matter movement on Aruba

265805 Pinchos- PGB promo Banner (25 x 5 cm)-5 copy

Sunday, June 7th Aruba joined in on the global conversation happening about race. A group called Back Lives Matter Aruba gathered in honor and solidarity towards the brothers and sisters in the US, The Netherlands and around the world. To say: “Rest in Power”!

Last Sunday, June 14th, a follow up gathering was organized in San Nicolas to discuss topics like ‘stop racism in all forms’, ‘unity is strength’, ‘plan of passive action’, and ‘what measures to take to stop racism’. Anti-racist protests in the world continue to spread following the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, leading to calls to defund police departments and take down historic statues. Dozens were arrested in Atlanta as protesters took to the streets after Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police last Friday. The officer who killed Brooks was fired and the police chief has stepped down. An autopsy report released by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said Brooks was shot twice in the back.

Aruba’s people represent more than 100 different nationalities and the island has been praised for its multicultural society. As many people say: “We Arubans grew up with all colors and nationalities, we do not discriminate.” But discrimination unfortunately exists everywhere and therefore it is good to have a conversation about it and be open towards others.

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement which began as a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager killed in Florida in July 2013. The movement became more widely known and popularized after two high-profile deaths in 2014 of unarmed African-American men (Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY and Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO). Neither of the police officers involved in their deaths were indicted (i.e., formally charged with a crime).