Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has welcomed an announcement the Government is to adopt August 23rd as the date for an annual national commemoration of the abolition of slavery.
This August the Mayor was joined at City Hall by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, MPs Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott as well singer Beverley Knight this morning at the first London memorial day which was timed to coincide with UNESCO’s day for the International Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition.
Ken Livingstone said: “I strongly welcome the decision to adopt an annual national memorial day in remembrance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its abolition.”
“On August 23 this year, I was proud to inaugurate London’s first annual memorial day at City Hall. I am therefore extremely glad there will now also be a national day of remembrance. It is vital to ensure we never forget one of the most terrible episodes in history.”
“The Transatlantic Slave Trade was a crime against humanity on a gigantic scale in which many millions of people were murdered and tens of millions suffered what can only be described as the most inhuman treatment amounting to torture for the whole of their lives.”
“The lives of millions of people remain affected by the legacy of that crime to this day. A memorial day will help remind us all of the struggle fought by the slaves and to show the extremity of the horrors which racism perpetrated.”