An inspiring action took place in Brixton at 5pm on 20th January 2017, at the exact moment Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. A group of young people came together to drop a banner declaring their outrage, solidarity and hope. The action was part of the global action BRIDGES NOT WALLS.
After hanging the banner, the young people swore an oath:
TOGETHER: At this moment, Donald Trump is being inaugurated as President of The United States.
AMAL: We have come together to mark this moment in another way.
ZHANÉ: As young people from Brixton, we are here to express our outrage at the dangerous politics of hate and division.
MALIKA: And of scapegoating and bigotry.
ILHAN: To say NO to racism, sexism, islamophobia and xenophobia.
AZAL: To stand in solidarity and hope with communities all over the world who need our love and support right now.
PERREIRA: As we speak, Donald Trump is standing on the steps of Capitol Hill, taking an oath to faithfully protect, preserve and defend.
ASHLEIGH: A promise we plan to hold him to it.
SAMANTHA: And so today, we too take an oath.
ELIZABETH: That, no matter what, we ain’t gonna let nobody or nothing turn us around.
CELINE: We’ve been down this path before and we know where it leads.
ERICA: It leads nowhere good..
BRITTNEY: So we’re building a better world.
THALIA: A world of justice, equality and freedom for all people.
TOGETHER: We have built too many walls. Now is the time to build bridges.
The young people are fellows of The Advocacy Academy, a Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Across eight months, The Advocacy Academy supports young leaders from marginalised communities to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.
In 2016, Advocacy Academy was shortlisted for an award from the Brixton Fund, and came first in a community vote on how to allocate funding. As a result, they received the maximum grant of £2000. Founder, Amelia Viney, said:
“Just like the Brixton Pound, The Advocacy Academy is all about building powerful communities. That’s why we were so excited to win £2000, money which will allow us to run a four-day event designed by our young leaders, exploring how they can effectively challenge systemic inequality an injustice. We are so grateful to all the locals who came out to support us! You are helping a generation of ambitious but underprivileged young Londoners to be heard.”
The Brixton Fund grant was spent on a four-day residential programme in October 2016, designed by participants to address the systemic causes of oppression facing many young people in the area, focusing on race, class, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The Advocacy Academy works with several Brixton organisations, such as the Black Cultural Archives, TEDx Brixton, Reclaim Brixton, and Brixton Pound.
Read more about the Advocacy Academy’s action on Brixton Blog and in the Brixton Bugle:
And check out Bridges Not Walls‘ video to see more of what was happening in the UK and worldwide on that day: