In February of this year we launched a campaign to save Sankofa Day 2020, which had been cancelled by City Hall because of works scheduled to take place on Trafalgar Square in the summer. Our memorial has always been the people’s memorial, that being so the campaign galvanised a lot of support from not only the British community, but from people around the world. That support saw our campaign see a victory as City Hall cleared the calendar for the weekend of 22 August allowing us to keep Sankofa Day. Below is an excerpt of a letter written by our founder which was sent out to our mailing list.
|“I recently had a meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Communities and Culture, Debbie Weekes-Bernard, who confirmed that we will be able to host Sankofa Day 2020 on Trafalgar Square on 22 August. This is a huge victory for us as it signifies that the Mayor of London understands the importance of Sankofa Day to you the community, that it is the people’s memorial and that remembering this uncomfortable piece of British history is important to not only Londoners, but people up and down the country.
Make no mistake, this victory is as a result of the public pressure applied by each and every one of you who signed the petition, shared the video and challenged Sadiq. We showed a united front and it worked! We received messages of support from around the world and I personally wish to say thank you to all, both individuals and organisations, who reached out. Many times I feel alone doing this work and on more than one occasion I have wondered whether all the personal sacrifice is worth it. Your words of encouragement reminded me that it is, you reminded why I do this, so thank you.
You can read a letter from the Deputy Mayor at the bottom of this email.
Since the confirmation, understandably, things have changed as a result of Covid-19. We have received notice that there is a hold on all events due to take place on Trafalgar Square for the foreseeable future. This now means that it is unlikely that we will be able to host Sankofa Day 2020, however, this does not take away from our initial victory and we will be hosting Sankofa Day 2021.
Sankofa Day 2021 will be the much bigger event we have been seeking support for. It will include educational and cultural workshops, more cultural performances and shall be a longer event. In other words Sankofa Day 2021 shall be an event of the size and stature fitting for the 400 years-worth of British History and human suffering we are remembering.”