Protesters take to the streets around the country to stand strong against racism and to call out Tory hypocrisy
London – Yonas Makoni
Protesters gathered at Downing Street at 3pm on Saturday for a demonstration against racism and in support of the black football players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who were subject to racial abuse following last week’s England game.
The crowd assembled around the Montgomery statue, where several speakers, including MP Diane Abbot, gave speeches to chants of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘no justice, no peace’. The speakers emphasised the connection between the government’s policies and violent racism, but also the necessity of the unity of working people across races. Just before 4pm, the protesters gathered in front of Downing Street to take the knee – an anti-racist symbol recently dismissed by Priti Patel as ‘gesture politics’.
The past week’s events have shown the depth of the anti-racist mood in Britain. We need to keep exposing the racism at the heart of the Tory government and the necessity of united action.
Manchester – Chris Neville
About 150 people gathered in Manchester today for a protest and march organised by Stand Up to Racism.
The protest started at St Peter's Square just after 1pm and protesters consisted of a diverse mix of ages and ethnicities holding placards with messages of 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Kill the Bill'.
From there, a march through the City Centre took place, down Corporation Street, towards the National Football Museum. The PCS Samba Band joined, providing a noisy backbone which chants of 'Black lives matter' and 'No justice, no peace' could ring out from.
Outside the National Football Museum, there were further speeches and a taking of the knee which lasted for several minutes. Speakers included local anti-racist activists plus Chantelle Lunt and others from Merseyside BLM Alliance, and focused heavily on the racist abuse suffered by England's black footballers in the wake of the Euro final.
The taking of the knee occurred in the middle of a busy road and stopped traffic for some time. The City Centre was incredibly busy, as would be expected on a Saturday afternoon, and there were plenty of onlookers who seemed overwhelmingly supportive with some gathering to hear the speeches and applauding the anti-racist messaging.
The mass outpouring of solidarity for Rashford, Saka and Sancho we have seen this week has caused huge problems for those in power who had hoped to keep us divided. Let's keep pushing and show them our strength in numbers can't be matched.