Just recently I don’t seem to be finding as much as time as I’d like to keep this blog of mine up to date. I try to publish a blog once a week and if you follow my Twitter you will of noticed the glass case of emotion I end up in about writing this thing. It’s been around since 2014 so I guess you could call it a labour of love.
There is of course as always reasons and excuses as to why I’m not writing as much as I have done previously. Not only has work slowly begun to lurch back into life but I’m usually pretty busy with at points what feels like relentless activism when it comes to police monitoring and public speaking.
You may of caught parts of my last speech at All Black Lives Matter in Bristol on Twitter. If you didn’t you can find it here. Suffice to say I’m pretty proud of me. I seem to be settling into public speaking well and it’s amazing to have my voice, views and experiences heard and to have people say how powerful they find my words. I was touched when someone said “thank you” after my last talk on defunding the police.
I was pretty astounded and very nearly choked at the beginning of my last speech when I introduced myself as a police abolitionist and a huge cheer went up from the crowd. That’s inspiring. Its like fighting but different. When the crowd cheer for you and who you are it makes you feel a bit bigger inside and most importantly it gives you even more conviction than you had before.
All black Lives Matter, Bristol August 16th
I feel very strongly about the police and honestly feel that working towards abolition is the best approach. There’s valid and very personal reasons for my stance. Disproportionate policing and racial profiling is something I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience in my life. Section 60 stop search? yep. I’ve been there. In fact too many times to count. At one point in my youth, they used to stop me almost every day. Political policing and harassment because of activism? yep, you guessed it. That as well. In fact, I’ve got the t-shirt.
All of this has added fuel to my fire and I sincerely feel that by re-imagining public safety and reevaluating the role of police in our society we can protect our communities and each other from their brutality, and stop them from killing us, because lets be honest at 1750 deaths in this country and not one conviction against any police officer since 1969, it’s clear they are getting away with murder and we need to start thinking about alternatives that work for everyone. The UK is not and never has been innocent.
It is a long journey and an important fight and as always a good path to be on. Many of us across the UK want justice, greater police accountability, equality and an end to racist policing. There were in fact 21,950 stop searches of black men by the Metropolitan police over lock down. 80% of those stop searches were no further action.
Institutional racism in the police is unfortunately live and well. The need for change is something right now that is echoing across the globe not just in America. It’s a dark and liberating time to be alive and just like with boxing it’s a good feeling to be one of countless others standing up.
You have to be tough inside to keep going at points and I’ve always been a fighter but it’s clear that martial arts has changed me for the better as a person over the years, and it’s good to put all the energy it gives me into positive outlets. This week I’ve trained every day of the week. That’s right. Monday through to Sunday. Although some days I’ve turned up a little late and not worked as hard as I should of I’ve come away feeling absolutely outstanding inside and have a pretty tidy left body shot emerging. Like with all things martial, it’s a work in progress.
And of course, the one thing Muay Thai is very good at doing is helping me bust stress. I spent a lot of this week working on my power, found that at points my technique really isn’t too bad and enjoyed the sparring I did from time to time. I’m really keen on fighting when fights start happening again so I intend to keep training hard and running lots. Tomorrow is a rest day and I’ll be training 6 times next week with a little more volume. 3 hours of training on Tuesday will absolutely set the theme for the rest of the week.
Of course, outside the gym I’m very busy not just with work but with police monitoring which is incredibly rewarding community activism that helps others and being a people person it also makes me feel a bit bigger inside. It’s new just like stepping into the ring for the first time was new but just like with fighting I’ve found my feet and I’m enjoying the journey.
I’m not sure if enjoying is the right word but I hope you know what I mean. Maybe a part of me has found redemption, maybe it’s what I’m meant to be doing right now. Like with all good journeys time will tell. For now, it’s good as always to be here. Have a great week, train hard and may you win all your fights. I’ll see you on that road.
All Black Lives Matter March August 16th 2020. Remember when they blocked the airports in the US? it kind of felt like that sort of moment.