They say a week is a long time in politics - and last week was exceptional proof of that old adage. As a Black revolutionary socialist who grew up in London, and who's been politically involved in Pan African and BAME community politics in four countries, I have never witnessed such a upsurge in shock, grief, horror but also such a sudden positive shift in Black awareness.

And public awareness of the need to tackle institutionalised racism is growing - starting with tackling racist policing. I started the week trying to enquire about my godson who was one of five arrested at the US Embassy protest in London last Sunday. (He was held for 8 hours but released and not charged and is awaiting a summons). On Monday I then found that a Black Lives Matter vigil had happened in Glasgow's George Square called by members of the Baba Yangu Foundation - a Black community mental health charity which I attended the launch of in 2018.

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As a Musicians Union member I observed #Black Out Tuesday only to be swamped by conversations with BLM activists newly emerging. I spent much of Tuesday contacting BLM groups Similarly the group in Edinburgh is called by longstanding African community activists from Sudan, Zimbabwe and many other countries.

On Wednesday I helped SNP BAME Network draft its statement in solidarity with BLM. On Wednesday Stewart Kyasimire's documentary, Black and Scottish, was repeated on BBC Scotland and he appeared on the BBC throughout Thursday.

What I think we are witnessing is the arrival (at last) of a Black African Scottish and BAME political sensibility. It is a Blackness emotionally attached to the fate of our sisters and brothers in the African American community and desperate to do something right here in Scotland.

George Floyd's murder has international significance as my friends in Mexico and Australia report. Over 400 aboriginal deaths at police hands since 1990. Hundreds (maybe thousands) more Mestizo have been killed in Mexico. Yet to the frustration of local anti racists - the hundreds dead at the hands of Australian or Mexican police locally did not raise anywhere near the level of sympathy or outpouring of grief and solidarity that the death of an African American thousands of miles away has.

We might well say the same here in Scotland when we think of how - as Aamer Anwar rightly pointed out - within five days the uprising in Minneapolis and across 150 plus cities in the US achieved what the Bayoh family have been wating for in vain for five years.

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Back in 2015 I attended the funeral march and burial of Sheku Bayoh. Since then I have attended the campaign launches, the court appearances and press conferences of the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign. I organised SNP MPs and MSPs briefings with the Bayoh family at Westminster and Holyrood.

Indeed I have spent much of this week trying to persuade a fresh new brilliant generation of young Black and Scottish community activists - who happily have taken up the Black Lives Matter banner to listen to the concerns of the Bayohs.

For those desperate to physically march this weekend, I say this: It is not radical to lead your 'troops' into a battle in a way that could potentially be counterproductive. I have already had messages from constituents (and not racist ones) saying "I have kept sincerely to lockdown, I've not seen my gran for 10 weeks" and "if Black Lives really matter why are these demonstrators risking everything and putting more BAME people at risk of Covid 19 by breaking lockdown?"

In the US this was also a valid question but which had a valid answer - that the very exceptional circumstances of the public murder of George Floyd, and the immediate threat to Black Lives from routine armed militarised police violence, was a more pressing clear and present danger. In this political moment that threat 'trumped' the ongoing threat of Covid-19. That is simply not the case in Scotland. Here we are not at serious risk of being shot at, water-cannoned or having pepper-spray, rubber bullets or tasers fired at us. Our frustration at racism whilst analogous to racism in the US is just not comparable in severity or scale. Even the situation in England much more closely resembles the US level of violence used, where the Black community have already had London Met use unnecessary force and seen West Midlands police use tasers in Birmingham. I spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday making contact with at least three groups of organisers - all well meaning and largely new to BLM activism - as you can read in yesterday's Glasgow Times. They'd organised the vigil in George Square last Sunday.

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I discovered other groups trying to organise things in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. I realised I knew many of those involved. One of these groups took my advice to move their Glasgow protest indoors today on Clyde Built Radio. The other group after my intervention agreed to move theirs from George Square to Glasgow Green to ensure better social distancing. The Edinburgh BLM moved theirs from the US consulate to Holyrood Park due to sheer numbers. They even made sure that health precautions of 2m social distancing, asked attendees to wear masks and gloves and arranged a decent amount of stewarding to enforce this. They even have a road map for a car cavalcade - which is a much safer; social distancing way to protest which doesn't involve gathering physically in a crowd. Aberdeen organisers have decided to have several much smaller static local vigils each with a maximum of 200 people. Given the relative inexperience of some of them - to their credit - they took much of my concerns into account.

Yet the clear thing I've picked up was many people's lack of awareness of the Sheku Bayoh case. For me - Black Lives Matter in Scotland IS the Bayoh family. Yet few if any of the BLM organisers had seen the statement from Kadi Johnson asking people not to demonstrate physically.

People are understandably angry, hurt and frustrated at the murder of George Floyd. However BLM activists say they are also tired at lack of progress against the daily racist abuse and discrimination they face in their daily lives in Scotland - a country where far too often people claim that it doesn't have a racism problem. It is that frustration that the touchlight of George Floyd has finally ignited which will likely drive them onto the streets today, regardless of the Covid 19 danger.

Much Scottish left opinion has rightly criticised the lack of completeness of our lockdown at workplaces and of PPE in healthcare. If we now undermine lockdown - we'll be contributing to driving up community transmission of the virus. Ultimately Black Lives Matter must also mean NOT further risking the spreading of a pandemic virus which affects BAME people so disproportionately.

However the clincher for me is that the Bayoh family and their indomitable lawyer Aamer Anwar; and the country;s two leading BAME politicians - our Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and Scottish Labour leadership candidate Anas Sarwar - have all asked us not to physically protest; to stay home and show our solidarity online.

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The idea of breaking the Covid lockdown is misguided because it will give a green light to reactionaries to also gather. It also risks sending a message to some people who just feel frustrated at staying indoors for so long, that we at BLM don't care about their health or don't respect the massive social solidarity people have shown by sticking to the lockdown rules. Rules which have undoubtedly saved many lives - and especially Black LIves - in Scotland. So sadly, I will not be going on any demonstrations today - much as I really, really want to. But I cannot knowingly ask BAME people to unnecessarily risk their lives when there are other non-physical and non-crowd based forms of protest that we can do. This is a first for me to say it - but Please Don't March. The organisers of the physical BLM protests today may well be tactically making the wrong call. However I plead for folks understanding - and to not too harshly condemn those who feel so strongly about the need to go outside to protest. Let's accept and hear the voices they are trying finally to make heard. We need this Black Lives Matter movement to succeed. Over the coming months there will be plenty of days to protest - after lockdown's over. We can support the Bayoh family daily during the upcoming Public Enquiry that Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has called. The best way we can make sure Black Lives Matter in Scotland right now is to get Justice for Sheku Bayoh. Winning that fight will be a pivotal victory against Scottish institutionalised racism.

Root causes of a Very Scottish Racism To understand the root causes of our very Scottish racism - we need to start seeing ourselves as a society rooted in slavery colonialism and imperialism - and start breaking it down. The 2018 book ' No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland' co-edited by Marxist scholar the late Prof Neil Davidson - comprehensively disproved that myth. The epic scholariship of Dr Stephen Mullen (the historian behind the 2018 report leading to Glasgow Unversity's reparative justice actions) in his 2007 work on Scotland's slavery legacy; "It Wisnae Us': The Truth About Glasgow and Slavery" privehe beyond a doubt that the whole of Scotland benefited from its slavery past.

The excellent community research work of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) Scotland's leading anti-racism charity (*which hosts the annual Black History Month programme every October) provides plenty of anti-racism resources. CRER also gives evidence that Scottish public bodies (including my own Glasgow City Council) have failed to make their workplaces inclusive of BAME workers or to wipeout the economic and social disadvantages Black workers face.

All these resources are not nearly well-known or widely read enough in Scottish schools, universities or in public life.

It was heartening to read messages from white Scottish activists (especially educators) trying to be good allies for the cause of anti racism. Educators are making changes to how history's taught in Glasgow primary schools. Bathgate Festival has now dropped the name of the Jamaican sugar plantation John Newland (who founded Bathgate Academy from his profits from enslaved African labourers) less than a week after local campaigners - led by a former Bathgate Headgirl started a petition. .

Petitioners have also written in their hundreds to demand renaming or amending the Merchant City streets named after slave-owners. Although my MSP Ivan McKee said George Floyd Square might be an idea - I think that's maybe more appropriate in Minneapolis where he was murdered - after justice is done. Nevertheless the new awareness being raised and the willingness to take action is a moment of opportunity to create a grassroots, people-led anti-racist movement with Black Lives Matter at its heart - organised from below within our communities. A movement that acts on a day to day basis - and not just in a crisis marching in response to the latest atrocity or injustice - but on a daily basis within our communities.

Many have observed it is insufficient now to say you are anti-racist. You need to demonstrate that with active interventions at work and in your communities - with deeds. On a personal level you can do that not by unfriending people on social media who make comments you don't agree with. Yes it will be exhausting to have that argument about racism with them - but you know them, so you are best placed to do that educating. Yes it will be annoying but think how much more annoying it is for Black people to continually have to do this! And so please speak out and speak up! Because whilst you will make mistakes - saying nothing out of fear of offending people is useless. As CRER always says - If you don't challenge racism - who will?