We have been contacted by several people with questions and suggestions prompted by the issues raised by the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
We would first like to make it clear that we fully understand the international reaction to the events seen in Minneapolis on the 25th May; the abuse of power and disregard for basic human rights is unacceptable in any context and the Rhodes Birthplace Trust is unequivocal in its condemnation of such behaviours. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign that has risen up in reaction to these events is one that has resonated around the world and is causing many people to question why things are the way they are and what should be done about them.
The United Kingdom has, in common with several other European Countries, a colonial past which needs to be reconciled with its legacy in the modern world and many towns across the UK, including Bishop’s Stortford, are having to consider the best way in which to do this.
The Rhodes Arts Complex has, in one form or another, been an essential part of Bishop’s Stortford’s cultural life for nearly 60 years and throughout that time has always worked in partnership with our community. Arrangements are currently being made for Trustees to meet and discuss the many suggestions that we have received from local residents on possible actions that we could take.
The Trust will be meeting later today to discuss this as a matter of highest priority and we anticipate being in a position to make a public statement later today or tomorrow morning depending on the length of the discussion and we would ask that you bear with us so that we can give this important subject the due consideration that it deserves.
Deirdre Glasgow, Chair of The Rhodes Birthplace Trust