Patrisse Cullors steps in to lead Ferguson Solidarity Tour

Patrisse Cullors

We are very sorry to announce that the Reverend Osagyefo Sekou was taken seriously ill yesterday and rushed to hospital, literally hours before he was due to board his plane to London for the Ferguson Solidarity Tour.

The organisers of the tour would like to thank the Reverend for the work he has put in and wish him a speedy recovery. We hope to bring him to the UK at a later date once he is back to full health.

We are indebted to Patrisse Cullors, who has very kindly agreed to fill in for Rev Sekou at extremely short notice. Patrisse is an artist, organiser and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter who has been centrally involved in support and solidarity work for demonstrators in Ferguson and St Louis.

Patrisse will be arriving in the UK on Sunday in time for the Tottenham meeting. For today’s Brixton meeting we have lined up Ashley Yates, a Missouri-based activist involved in coordinating protests on the ground in Ferguson. She will be addressing the meeting via a Skype video link.

Patrisse says: “In the UK you have a black presence that is part of a colonial past and comprised of immigrants, in contrast to the blatant slave history in the US. You also have ‘colour’ that is more than just black in terms of the giant colonial past. But you still have systemic oppression, and state sanctioned violence plays a role in each of our contexts. We are in a historical moment where we can make great shifts inside and outside US borders to ensure that #BlackLivesMatter around the world.”

Today’s Luton meeting has, regrettably, been cancelled. There may be further minor changes to the schedule we had planned. We apologise again to all concerned – especially those in Luton and Brixton – for these last minute changes and express our gratitude to Patrisse, Ashley and Rev Sekou’s team for all their help over the last 24 hours.