Town star calls response to council Black Lives Matter tweet ‘racist’

PUBLISHED: 14:48 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 06 June 2020

Ipswich Town Hall with Andre Dozzell inset. 


Ipswich Town Hall with Andre Dozzell inset. Picture: RACHEL EDGE/ROSS HALLS


An Ipswich Town star has blasted the response to a Ipswich council tweet in support of Black Lives Matter as racist.

On June 5, Ipswich Borough Council shared a picture of the town hall with the announcement it would be lit purple “in memory of George Floyd whose death in the USA has prompted global outrage”.

The tweet said: “Ipswich joins councils across the UK in expressing solidarity with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities around the world #BlackLivesMatter.”

The post was commented on dozens of times, some supportive of the move, but others derided the move.

One comment accused the town of siding with “violent street thugs and looters”, and another of “lighting up buildings for foreign criminals”.

Ipswich Town player Andre Dozzell saw the response and tweeted: “Look at all these racists in the comments.

“Disgusting people from my hometown.”

Dozzell has tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement frequently since the death of George Floyd in May, including several historic and recent videos of police brutality targeting black people.

Team-mate Kayden Jackson has also tweeted in support of Black Lives Matter and appeared shocked by one response to the post – a tweet from Ipswich borough councillor Ian Fisher opposing the lighting at the town hall.

Mr Fisher said he supported the values of the protest but said that “if the council wants change it needed to lead change” and the gesture was no more than “pretty lights”.

Speaking to this paper, he added: “My sentiments are that it was a last minute decision and currently there are lots of people making gestures, because gestures are easy.

“We’re lucky not to have the issues of police brutality they have in the US but there are still problems with racism that must be addressed with actions, not words.”

Ipswich Town Football Club have also released a statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The club said: “We stand for diversity and equality. We stand against racism and injustice.”

A protest will take place in Christchurch Park in Ipswich at 2pm today, along with dozens more marches across the UK.

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