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Photo: Lucy Nichols

Thousands take to streets across the country in uncompromising stand against systemic racism

In an impressive display of solidarity and anger tens of thousands of mainly young people took to the streets around Britain in big cities and smaller towns on Saturday in support of the US protests and against police and institutional racism in Britain. The protests were defiant, dignified and incredibly diverse.

Manchester

Huge numbers flooded the area in and around Piccadilly Gardens in the centre of Manchester. Many people said they had never seen numbers like this in the Gardens and the atmosphere was peaceful and enthusiastic. People did their best to socially distance and there were no police at all for at least the first few hours of the demonstration.

 

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Brian Madden

 

Cardiff

Around 2,000 protestors filled Bute Park in Cardiff. The protest had good social distance and the only incident was when a councillor on the podium was forced off after declaring “all lives matter”, which he later apologised for. Around 100 protestors then marched to Cardiff bay and gathered outside the Senedd building, the home of the Welsh Parliament.

 

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@Col_Photography on Twitter

 

Sheffield

2,000 protestors gathered in Devonshire Green, Sheffield. 

 

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Newcastle

Stand up to Racism North East and Newcastle Unites faced these extraordinary  times by building a hugely successful online rally in support of Black Lives Matter, which fetched in over three thousand viewers.  Speakers included Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, a number of speakers from Newcastle Unites, Stand up to Racism and Black Lives Matter UK.  Some speakers had harrowing stories to tell, such as Janet Alder, who continues to fight for justice for her brother, Christopher Alder who died while in police custody in 1998. Another was Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara, who in March was tasered in front of his young child by police in Manchester.  Daniel Kebede, Vice President of National Education Union, described vividly the wide-ranging political and economic experiences of racial inequality, and that the problem of racist police brutality is not unique to the US.  It is experienced in many parts of the world, not least here in Britain. Newcastle became a city of protest all round, as around 500 also took to the streets in the city centre. Everyone involved, whether online or in the streets, resolves to continue the fight against injustice and inequality wherever it occurs. Solidarity from Newcastle! 

Leicester

Thousands gathered at the Clock Tower in Leicester, before marching through the town centre. Protestors knelt down together in the middle of the high street.

 

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@blmleicester

 

Bath

1,200 protestors filled Green Park in Bath and several more protests were planned across Somerset.

 

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Paul Gillis

 

Southend

More than 1000 people protested in the middle of Southend on Sea and heard from a variety of local speakers from BAME communities and anti-racist movements. The crowd heard moving denunciations not only of the murder of George Floyd and police brutality in the US but of everyday racism in the U.K. while calls for unity and solidarity were warmly greeted.

 

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Des Freedman

 

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