Black Lives Matter activists are preparing for another protest afternoon in the UK after horrific clashes with London police yesterday.
Demonstrations in Bristol, Birmingham and Portsmouth gain momentum after yesterday’s massive gathering in the capital to keep the anger at the murder of American George Floyd alive.
A 15,000-strong crowd gathered peacefully in Hyde Park, but later marched to Westminster, where mobs began to target agents in insane attacks off Downing Street.
Today’s protests in cities across the country seem to avoid fighting so far, with Bristol campaigners instead paying a powerful tribute by lying face down on College Green – as if they were playing dead.
The placard-wielding procession later swept the streets as she sang. Contrary to yesterday’s protest in London, hardly any police were depicted.
In Portsmouth, crowds flocked to the Guildhall in the center of the city for speeches by campaigners.
In recent days, global protests against racism have eclipsed coverage of the coronavirus, but the pandemic continued to cast a shadow over today’s rallies.
Many protesters covered their faces with masks, while officers and local authorities begged people to observe social distances after the crowds in London crowded.
Black Lives Matter activists are getting ready for another protest afternoon in the UK after horrific clashes with London police yesterday (Bristol shown)
Today’s protests in cities across the country seem to have prevented conflict so far, with Bristol campaigners lying face down – playing dead – in a powerful image
Protesters lying down at a protest meeting of Black Lives Matter in Bristol in memory of George Floyd who was murdered on May 25
People gather at a Black Lives Matter protest in the Guildhall in Portsmouth after yesterday in London
Hundreds of people come to the Guidhall in Portsmouth, for not keeping social distance, to express their anger at the murder of George Floyd
In Birmingham, where hundreds of people are expected to gather in Victoria Square at 4:00 PM, West Midlands police said ‘we recognize that there will be a lot of emotions in many people who are touched by what they have seen and want to express their frustrations “.
Assistant Chief Commissioner Matt Ward said, “Our goal is to allow and facilitate peaceful protest, so we are not going to prevent people from taking to the streets if they have legitimate concerns they want to share.
“You can still protest while maintaining social distance.”
Birmingham City Council has urged protesters to keep two meters apart pending a demonstration of Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the city center.
Hundreds have indicated that they will be attending the Victoria Square rally from 4 p.m., including Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings, who told his 109,000 Twitter followers, “ Don’t be afraid to speak your truth. Stand for what is right. ‘
It comes after sacks of protesters collided with the police as thousands of people poured into central London and distanced themselves from social distance for a BLM demonstration on Wednesday in response to George Floyd’s death in the US.
Birmingham City Council said it supports the BLM movement, but urged protesters to keep two meters apart and stay in groups of six or less.
An activist addresses the crowd on the steps of the Guildhall for the Black Lives Matter protest
Campaigners wave signs and sing in Portsmouth while similar gatherings take place around the world
Three women take part in the demonstration and hold placards saying ‘The UK is not innocent’
After a largely peaceful demonstration on Wednesday in Hyde Park in London, in which Star Wars actor John Boyega gave a passionate speech, tensions later escalated outside Downing Street.
An officer was pressed to the ground in view of the Houses of Parliament, while another clip showed that officers were forced Whitehall by a group approaching them.
Other images showed objects, including signs and a traffic cone thrown at officers, while plastic and glass bottles were also launched in their direction.
The Metropolitan Police said 13 people were arrested during the protests, which ran into the early hours of Thursday morning.
One of them, Soofuu Yakr, 26, has been accused of attacking Nine News Australia TV reporter Sophie Walsh and possession of cannabis and a screwdriver. He had to appear before the magistrates on Thursday.
Ms. Walsh was heard screaming at the camera during her report and later tweeted that she was “shaken but okay”; later her colleague was filmed and left his live broadcast, on the run when tensions flared up.
Scotland Yard said two men have been arrested on Downing Street on suspicion of attacking a rescuer and violent disorder.
Protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest meeting in Bristol in memory of George Floyd
At one point, the police escorted a man on the side of the road who was bleeding from the head, blood over his clothes and camera.
Mr. Floyd died after a white officer stopped him by pressing a knee in his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, leading to days of protest in the US.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled and sick” to see what happened to Mr Floyd as UK chiefs made a joint statement saying “to stand beside all the people who are shocked and shocked” .
An online rally will take place next Sunday, said campaign group Stand Up to Racism, with speakers to discuss “how to turn the new wave of rage at racism and injustice into an effective movement for change.”
An online fundraiser for the UK chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement had reached more than £ 270,000 on Thursday morning, with the funds “supporting black life against institutional racism.”
Despite social media rumors that The Cenotaph had been vandalized during the protests, police said they were “ unaware of any damage. ”
In the U.S., protests began in Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd died, and quickly spread across the country.
Demonstrations have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, South Carolina and Houston, among others.
Some have witnessed clashes between police and protesters, with officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds.
US President Donald Trump has pressured state governors to adopt a stronger approach to protesters.