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Paper: BLM movement in Estonia a ridiculous notion, says journalist

Abdul Turay
Abdul Turay Source: ERR

The recent "Black Lives Matter "(BLM) protests in the United Kingdom are appropriate, British journalist Abdul Turay told daily Postimees, even as the movement has diverged from its original vision. The much smaller number of black people living in Estonia would make BLM a ridiculous notion there, however, akin to holding a gay pride parade without any LGBT+ people in attendance, he said.

Turay, 53, who is also a former Tallinn city councilor, told the daily's English-language portal in an interview that a recent social media post of his on the topic had attracted push-back, some of which was racist and characterized by what he called angry white people from the west, who do not want plurality of opinion.

Turay said that when he first lived in Estonia in the early 2000s – he has since returned to the U.K. – being stopped by the police was a quite common occurrence, one which prompted him to write to Estonia's embassy in London, whose apology in response he produced to police personnel the next time he was stopped, giving them an example of how not to act.

In an earlier post on social media, Turay had said that he had been the subject of at least one strip search by the police in Estonia, followed by being confined to a windowless room, and ultimately was fired from his job and effectively banished from the country.

Turay also said he would not consider a return to Estonia for as long as the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) was in office, which they have been since March 2019, as it would make it impossible for him to function as a black politician in the country due to claims that Martin Helme – the party's deputy leader and current finance minister – hates Africans, although he, Turay, still keeps in touch with black people living in Estonia, including an active student community, he said.

Abdul Turay was a Center Party councilor in Tallinn from 2017, and before that, sat with the Social Democratic Party (SDE), after winning a seat at the 2013 local elections. He also ran in the 2014 European Elections, for SDE, and is reportedly a member of the Brexit Party in the U.K.

A BLM protest, one of many worldwide following the May 25 death in the U.S. of George Floyd, who was at the time being physically restrained by police in Minneapolis, MN, took place outside the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn Wednesday night, and another is planned for Vabaduse Väljak for June 20.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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