Four women have been ordered to remove an anti-racism banner from their flat after neighbours complained it was ‘offensive’.
The group hung a sign saying ‘white silence is violence’ from their window above a hairdresser Crouch End High Street, north London, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, to police officers turned up at their flat last week and told them they had received complaints that the banner was racist. They left the banner up and were visited again the following day when they were ordered to remove it or face being asked to ‘come down to the station’.
Meghann Foster, 24, who lives in the flat, told Metro.co.uk: ‘I think the police are feeling under fire from the BLM movement, and rightly so. Our banner was not inciting violence, there was nothing abusive on the banner.
‘It was clear the banner is part of the BLM movement and its clear what it means: it is a call to white people to stand up against racism. Everyone must speak up against injustice.’
Another of the flatmates, Katherine Plumb, said she was there when the police visited a second time.
She said the group was told it was the use of the word ‘white’ on the banner that had offended people.
The flatmates argued that if the wording had said ‘black lives matter’ instead, the same logic could be applied about the use of the word ‘black’.
She added: ‘The police officer finally expressed that in his opinion, which we did not ask for, we should not put people in boxes.
‘The whole interaction was recorded via the police cam which he insisted on telling us when we retaliated or spoke of the ridiculous nature of his second visit.’
The group have since replaced the first banner with a new one which reads: ‘Had to take first sign down cause racists complained to the police.’
In response to what happened, people are being urged to put up their own banners today and ‘flood social media’ with pictures.
A police spokesman said : ‘On Saturday, July 18, officers attended an address in Crouch End Hill, Haringey, after receiving a third-party complaint about a banner.
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