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  • Writer's pictureAlan J Porter

"Challenging times..."

April 21st

Wednesday 3.30 pm. A silence seems to exist at this time of the day by my home, as children are normally heard in the nearby park, but all are back at school. There was an eerie silence yesterday in Minneapolis, where George Floyd died, as hundreds waited for a verdict to be called on the policeman Derek Chauvin. There was a fear throughout America as everyone waited for what the outcome would be for the country itself if this policeman was not found guilty. Many shops were boarded up in Minneapolis in the event that violence was to erupt, but this violence could have spread to every major city in the U.S. George Floyd had gone into a store to buy cigarettes and made payment with a 20 dollar note. The shop assistant believed it was a counterfeit and called the police because George refused to give the cigarettes back. Anyone could have found theirselves in this situation, and felt awkward at having to give the cigarettes back when the accusation may not have been true. But George was an African American and not white, and systemic racism is like a cancer that has never been cured in America. The world saw the brutal and tragic slow death of George by a policeman kneeling on his neck, being helped by his colleagues, as he was heard to say twenty times he could not breathe. George was pleading for his mother and begging please, please, please. Who could have foreseen that this incident would cause the death of George and bring the country to an unimagined silence as they waited for a verdict to be given?

In July of 1863 a battle was being fought at Gettysburg between the Northern and Southern states of America. A civil war about ending slavery, and giving freedom and seeing an end to the barbaric slave trade that had existed for the previous 200 years and more. Abraham Lincoln waited in fear if this strategic battle would be won or lost. To lose the consequences would have catastrophic for Lincoln and the Northern states. April the 20 th saw President Joe Biden intervene, before a verdict was called by saying, I AM PRAYING FOR THE RIGHT VERDICT TO BE REACHED. This was the Presidents fear of what the consequences may bring if justice wasn’t seen. A similar situation to Abraham Lincoln as his Generals and the nation held its breath. Gettysburg saw over the three day battle 40,000 dead and wounded, but saw the defence and retreat of the Southern General Lee. The civil war started in 1861 on April 12th until April 9th 1865. President Biden waited on April 20 th, for the news that justice would be seen for George Floyd and all African Americans. The civil war never did bring freedom and justice for those in slavery, as racism still prevails in the U.S. Lincoln included words at the end of his famous speech saying, Under God shall have a new birth of freedom. He then went on to write his name into history by saying, “THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.”

Derek Chauvin was found guilty on second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. Police officers have rarely been charged and convicted. The civil war on equality, freedom and justice for the African American still has an enormous battle to win. New policing reforms must now be brought about. Another battle to start, as African Americans will not wait another 156 yrs from when Lincoln said freedom had been given. Those words died when he was assassinated.

A young African American in New York was killed by policeman with a choke hold as he was just selling single cigarettes. It took his mother five years to get the case brought to the court. Last evening where George was murdered, an African man from Ghana said, he was petrified of driving in America, incase he was pulled up by the police after seeing how some police behave. America has given thousands of lives in fighting for other peoples freedom, and spent trillions on armaments and financial support around the world. The Roman Empire collapsed from within. America’s battle to prevent this situation in the U.S. must start today. Their failure would be the worlds failure, and it’s hoped President Biden is given assistance by his opposition the Republicans.

President Joe BIden

The list is long with battles that must be won with climate change, this pandemic of coronavirus and its variants, and the many layers of confrontations that continue to exist. Cooperation of all nations, big and small, must finally gain ground and realise this Earth is small, as populations continue to grow. Our young children who in many countries receive far better education than before and expectations will rest with them in the coming years. Time though is not giving that many choices, as a generation, especially in the U.K., now see no chance of having a decent home to raise a family. On the news today in the U.K. the word CHANGE is heard every other minute in every direction.

Change came about in the U.K. in a dramatic way within 48 hours of hearing a football super league was being created by their billionaire owners. Six top clubs from the U.K. Spain, and Italy wrongly did not understand the anger and power ordinary football fans held. This idea has collapsed in the U.K. and will see the same with another twelve top teams in Europe. This shows when people unite in something they believe in, these pillars that have existed too long can be changed for the better.

In the U.K. with parliament at question time today, Prime Minister Boris faced an onslaught of questions from the opposition leader suggesting and identifying SLEEZE with his government. Change is a vibration that is touching many situations where many are facing the consequences of the virus and the economy. Improvement is occurring by seeing people venturing out to shop. Not in great numbers but signs of a beginning that will continue to grow. Five million are still on furlough in the U.K. but the U.K. is resilient as history shows. It appears circumstances have to be dire before changes occur in some cases, but these football outbursts have proved how quickly change can occur. It’s the same for the U.S. where further crimes by police against the African Americans will now have to see changes sooner rather than later.

The human being is ingenious and can bring forth new ideas. The young always have new ideas as they want to see their dreams realised. With belief we can all climb an higher mountain with our dreams, and to underestimate especially the young would be wrong and negative.

In Russia there is this man Alexey Navalny who is presently on hunger strike and is imprisoned for his beliefs of trying to bring with democracy a better life for all Russians. All once great powers can implode from within, unless freedom to think, travel, and grow the gifts are allowed to expand in the best of ways. Hope, optimism, I’ve always had, which will not allow me to give up. Challenging times but changing times, believing we can all make a small difference to this world as we all are just passing through.

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