My wish for 2021? We all start fighting back, now.

Drillminister outside the Houses of Parliament

Boom. Bam. You know who it is. Yung Drilly, aka Drillminister – writing for The Canary. I’m running for London Mayor in 2021. And with the mess that our politicians have made in the past 12 months, we need radical change and quickly. So, here’s my message as we head to towards the New Year.

Black Lives Matter. But do they really?

This year has laid bare the open corruption and political violence in our society. It held a magnifying glass to the hate. And even though it’s obvious for all to see – nothing has changed.

The UK saw the reverberations of George Floyd’s murder echo across the streets of London. I stood shoulder to shoulder with Stormzy in the ‘Battle of Trafalgar‘. And I watched Patrick Hutchinson save the life of a racist former police officer. I shouted ‘no justice, no peace’ outside Downing Street:

But what did we get?

Institutional racism and prejudice

In London, nine out of ten children on remand are still from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background. We are still statistically more likely to be unemployed or homeless. We’re more likely to be stopped by police and searched without committing a crime, more likely to be arrested, imprisoned or die in custody when use of force, restraint or mental health issues are involved.

3,000 people have died in police custody since 1969. That was the last time a police officer was convicted of murder/manslaughter in relation to this. So, if we do die in custody, it’s unlikely a cop will face the consequences:

Read on...

I’m one of countless Black men whom the police have stopped and searched, despite not having committed a crime. I know first hand how this form of government harassment robs you of your basic human rights.

My campaign for mayor will be addressing the politically driven poverty that is the root cause of violence in London. It won’t be punishing those most affected by it. Stop and search is a prejudiced and ineffective policy. It targets poor people, and People of Colour, and as London mayor, I will end it immediately.

Homelessness: a political choice

We have seen more than ever that poverty and homelessness are political decisions. The government finds money for firearms but not for food; hellfire missiles but not homes.

As part of my campaign, I worked with Streets Kitchen: a grassroots group that provides people in need with food, clothing and help. I handed out hot drinks to a woman living on the streets. She must have been eighty years old. I spoke to an Iraq war veteran who US forces blew up in friendly fire. The government left him to fight for survival when he returned home. Elodie from Street’s Kitchen told me “If the government doesn’t do something, hundreds will die this Christmas”:

Drillminister with Streets Kitchen
Drillminister in London supporting the Street’s Kitchen team

I spoke to reformed drug addict Kevin Dooley about sleeping rough metres from parliament. He showed me the queues of people lining up for food in Central London. A line that grows everyday:

I wanted to understand the root causes of homelessness. So, I interviewed the former UN rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha.

Her organisation The Shift looks to change housing from a commodity to a human right. She told me that we must make it harder for tax-avoiding, so-called shell companies to buy up London homes. We can turn the capital into an inhospitable environment for the private companies causing homelessness.

We need to fight back

The UK saw our classist and classless politicians vote against feeding society’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Still, hundreds and thousands of kids will go hungry this Christmas. It is shameful Unicef is now working in the UK. And the reaction to this from miscreant MPs like Jacob Rees-Mogg is just as shameful too.

Instead of being a playground for the rich, we are going to build playgrounds for children. Right now there’s no justice. Just us and the government. And we need to start fighting back. Let’s make 2021 the year we do that.

Featured image and additional images via Oleg Tolstoy/Drillminister 

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Good luck to you in your bid. Though I envisage plenty of harassment from the MSPE (mainstream political elite).
      I can imagine sudden “not up to fire regulations” being slapped on meeting halls. Ineligability challenges in the courts for your candidacy. Agent provocateurs working hand in fist with MSM outlets to discredit you. Slurs and trumped-up historical misdemeanours against you and your campaign staff.

      Whatever they throw at you, use it to make you stronger, and never flinch in the face of their fear.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.