The congregation at a church in Chorlton has had an amazing response following a racist graffiti attack.
The church had pinned an image of George Floyd to its noticeboard following the worldwide protests that erupted following his death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
An unarmed black man, he died on 25th May after being forcibly restrained by police officers. He was filmed gasping: “I can’t breathe” as a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
The church had pinned the image of Mr. Floyd up in solidarity with all those that are oppressed and subject to institutional racism, but on Friday evening noticed that the poster had been defaced with blue spray paint.
Shocked at the fact a member of their community had felt strongly enough to do such a thing, on Saturday morning churchgoers added the caption: ‘Whoever did this, it’s sad, but we’ll pray that they can let go of their hatred & pain’.
Then, after a short meeting of church members on Sunday morning, they decided a bolder response was appropriate, so re-painted their boundary wall with #BlackLivesMatter in huge capital letters.
After creating the new mural, Chorlton central church shared the image online to its Facebook page along with the gospel verse: “And Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if you remain silent, the very stones will cry out’. Luke Chapter 19 verse 40.”
The bold anti-racist move has since been praised online by thousands of Chorlton locals and Mancs further afield.
Facebook user Dawn Sunrise Johnson said: “Thank you all for supporting your black community.“
Another user commented: “Love this. Fight hate with God’s love.”
“I’ve always wanted to visit. Now I def will,” commented Facebook user Carla Saunders Zuill.
Whilst Fiona Higgins shared, “I’m an atheist but on this I stand shoulder to shoulder with you.”
Sadly it is not the first time something like this has happened in Manchester in reaction to the black lives matter movement. Last month, Akse P-19’s Stevenson Square mural of George Floyd was also daubed in racist graffiti – leaving Mancunians up in arms as to who would do such a thing.
In that instance, council leaders made the move to cover the racist language that had been scrawled on the mural up with cardboard. It was then fixed by the artist later that day.
As Pat Karney said at the time: “This is not what Manchester is about. Manchester is better than this.”