More than 800 people have attended a peaceful rally against police brutality, inequality, the Windrush scandal and racism in the city centre.
A massive crowd – with people from all walks of life- waved placards and listened to speeches given by two families of men who had died in violent circumstances.
The demonstration gathered at Victoria Square was co-organised by Bishop Desmond Jaddoo and speaker’s included Kadisha Brown-Burrell, sister of Kingsley Burrell, who died in police custody.
She told those gathered in Victoria Square: “ Kingsley was not publicly harming anyone.
“Race played a big part in Kingsley’s death. He was a big black man, he was as humble as a lamb. He didn’t know that he would be dead 72 hours later. We cannot sit in silence no more. When Kingsley said he can’t breathe, who does that remind you of ?”
The crowd then chanted George Floyd’s name.
Another speaker was Sonia Webster, the mother of Julian Webster, who died after being held in a ‘chin lock’ in Manchester.
The crowd was asked to say ‘take your knee off my neck’ nine times- the same amount of time George Floyd lay dying on the ground with cop Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck.
They then took to their knees in solidarity.
Founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting and killing Trayvon Martin on the grounds of self-defence, Black Lives Matter have spent years protesting and demonstrating against racism and inequality.
Although it has origins in the US, Black Lives Matter has become an international movement with supporters across the world holding protests and demonstrations in a variety of countries including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
You can learn more about Black Lives Matter on their website.
One protester, Georgina, 32, said: “It’s important because this is our generation. Our grandparents seems to have stood there and nothing seems to be changing. It is not just Amercia, unfortunately this is everywhere.”
One of the organiser’s Tony, 29, said: “Our aim is for all of us to get together from different areas ad work together under one agenda.
“When we’re going with different angles, it doesn’t work. Every turnout is a great turnout. As long as people turnout and the message is getting out therem then that is the best thing. We’re fighting for equality, nothing more, nothing less. We want to be looked as equals.
“Everyone wants to be looked as the same.”