Socialist Worker

Black Lives Matter activists block central London streets

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2514

Protesters march down Oxford Circus in central London

Protesters march down Oxford Circus in central London


Activists staged a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration outside Oxford Circus in central London yesterday, Friday. It came amid escalating police racism in Britain and the US.

Organisers spoke about the violent arrest of a young black man in London Bridge station last week. Gary McFarlane from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) explained, “He was having an argument with his girlfriend.

“But police arrested him because they thought he was stealing her phone.”

In the US police have killed 12 people in the last six days. 

In London some 100 black and white activists marched from Oxford Circus to the Apple shop in Covent Garden. They demanded that the Apple CEO stands by his recent announcement in support of the movement.

Itamar told Socialist Worker, “I’ve been impressed by the movement so far by black and white people coming together. 

“We need unity for the movement to go forward.”

The demonstration was loud and undaunted by the heavy police presence, with passers-by joining it. Clavine from France joined the demo with her children. “I want to show my children you need to fight for something real,” she said. 

Blocked 

“I’m shocked to see so many white people here—it’s very good.”

The protest blocked Regent Street on the way to Covent Garden. 

Gibril joined the demonstration as it blocked Regent Street on its way to Covent Garden. He said, “This is the first protest I’ve been on since university. 

“I used to be involved in campaigns around the Educational Maintenance Allowance and tuition fees."

After occupying the Apple store the protesters marched to Downing Street where they joined up with an anti-fascist protest organised by Unite Against Fascism. 

The BLM demo hurled abuse at the 31 Nazis from the South East Alliance then moved on to Parliament Square where it ended.

People were positive about the direction the movement is heading. 

Activists agreed that mobilising for a BLM bloc at Notting Hill Carnival on August Bank Holiday is going to be decisive. 


Protesters in the US joined a series of sit-ins in over 60 cities last Sunday. They mobilised hundreds of people.

The sit-ins were a response to police violence and racism. But they also aimed to reclaim public spaces named after Martin Luther King.

One of the organisers, Feminista Jones, told Socialist Worker, “We will continue to rebel against racist tyranny and sanctioned state violence.”

National day of action BLMUK #Shutdown – 5 August. Go to Black Lives Matter UK on Facebook for more info
Justice for Mark Duggan protest – 6 August, 3.30pm, Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham
Next BLM organising meeting – 9 August, 6pm, Dalston Mosque, 9-15 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2DA

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