On Tuesday, September 12th, hundreds of protestors were gathered outside of Peckham Hair and Cosmetics in response to the viral video. In the video, 45-year-old Sohail Sindho, owner of Peckham Hair and Cosmetics, is seen strangling a Black woman. He violently suffocates and restrains her, while she hits him with her shopping basket attempting to break free.
The traumatizing video brought people out to the streets. Chants like “you touch one, you touch all” and “keep your hands off Black women” echoed while posters read “protect Black women.” One protestor, Simone Goodys expressed her disdain, saying, “this shop is targeted at Black women. They sell all stuff for Black women. We’re the ones who come here and buy their stuff, but they don’t respect us.” Yet, the Sindho denied accusations of strangling the black women despite the viral video’s depiction of him doing just that.
In fact, all across social media, the Peckham Protests are opening the flood gates to larger discourse. For example, Tik Tok creator, Feyisara Olu notes in a video that the “Peckham Hair shop incident is part of a wider conversation about how brands and businesses make profit off of black consumers, but in reality have no regard for said consumers.” She goes on to cite examples of global brands like Tarte, that work with Black creators but treat them poorly, and how supporting Black communities is simply a ploy for corporations to secure Black consumerism. Feyisara mentions how Black communities had to “drag brands by their singlet” to get them to support Blackout Tuesday, and even if they did post, their support for Black communities rarely went beyond that.
Others on social media have been caught in the flames of racism and division. There have been countless articles speculating on identity politics and racism when a white person isn’t the perpetrator. Figures from the right, such as Martin Daubney, have been questioning why the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan isn’t commenting or acting on the issue. Creator, Syntyche Djunga, presents her take in a Tik Tok, where she shares that while she is pro Black Lives Matter she also believes that the incident is more behavioral than racist.
Sindho is currently in hiding while his store remains shuttered. He has been receiving death threats from across the world and worries for his family’s safety. In fact, Sindho told the Daily Mail, that “If it wasn’t for my wife and three children I would walk right to the shop and out to the street and talk to the people, because I am very sorry about what happened.” In regards to the victim, she was arrested on suspicion of assault and later released on bail.
Discover More From GUAP’s Arts and Culture Section Here.