Suspend Export of Riot Gear to U.S. During George Floyd Chaos, Says British Labour Party

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Emily Thornberry addresses delegates on the third day of
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The UK’s left-wing Labour Party has called on the government to suspend the sale of British-made riot gear to the United States, including teargas and crowd control equipment, during the ongoing riots in America over the death of George Floyd.

The fervently anti-Trump shadow international trade secretary for the Labour Party, Emily Thornberry, wrote to her Conservative counterpart, Liz Truss, saying that Britain should suspend the sale of the riot gear as a matter of “urgency”. She claimed that it would “be a disgrace” if the country were to support what she termed the “violent repression” of “peaceful protestors” by President Donald Trump.

“If British-made riot control equipment is being used to attack unarmed protesters and journalists in the US, those exports must immediately be stopped. We cannot be a party to the violence of the American President against his own people,” the left-wing MP said.

“I’m sure that you will agree that, at a time when Donald Trump is gearing up to use the US military to crush legitimate protests across America over the murder of Black civilians, it would be a disgrace for the UK to supply him with the arms and equipment he will use to do so,” Thornberry wrote to Truss.

“If this were any other leader, in any other country in the world, the suspension of any such exports is the least we could expect from the British government in response to their actions, and our historic alliance with the United States is no reason to shirk that responsibility now,” she concluded.

Labour MP Dawn Butler, who has in the past called for Britain to pay slavery reparations, said that she is organising a group of like-minded lawmakers to block the export of riot gear.

Despite claims from the Labour Party politicians that the George Floyd riots were “peaceful”, they have been anything but, with rioters shooting police officers and minority-owned business being vandalised and looted throughout the country.

The UK government has officially condemned the death of Mr Floyd; however, it has so far refrained from criticising President Donald Trump’s response to the riots that have ensued.

On Sunday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that it was “not his job” to comment on the actions of the American president.

On Saturday, thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters took to the streets of London in an act of ‘solidarity’ with the riots in the United States.

“It’s time to wake up and get out [of] the house and fuck this place up, man. I’m tired of this shit. We need to burn this shit down. I don’t care what the London mayor says. The West is falling! The West is falling!” screamed a BLM activist at the protest.

This was followed by another Black Lives Matter protest on Wednesday, marching between Westminster and Hyde Park, where peaceful anti-lockdown protesters were arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police over the weekend. While the demonstration was largely peaceful, there were violent scuffles with police outside Downing Street.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.