Socialist Worker

Thousands join Black Lives Matter protests in Britain

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2713

Black Lives Matter protesters in London

Black Lives Matter protesters in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Protests across Britain show there is still anger more than a month after the Black Lives Matter movement erupted over the murder of George Floyd by police.

Thousands of people were reported to have protested in Brighton, Sussex, on Saturday.

Demonstrators wearing black and holding placards denouncing systemic racism gathered by Brighton’s Palace Pier before moving off through the streets.

Slogans on placards included, “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”.

Gathering in their thousands at The Level, the protesters shouted out together, “It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.

“We have nothing to lose—too many have already lost too much.”

The protest came days after outcry over a video showing a man shouting “I can’t breathe” while being restrained on the ground by three police officers in Brighton.

Up to 1,000 people gathered outside the US embassy in south London.

Organisers of the protests said that it was called to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and to say that the UK is not innocent of institutional racism.

Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was murdered in her bed by the police over two months ago.

Nafeesa who was carrying a Justice for Breonna Taylor sign said, “It is good that legislation is being brought in to stop police conducting no knock warrants. But to truly get justice there also needs to be arrests of the police officers that killed her.”

Shemiah, one of the protest’s organisers, told Socialist Worker how important it is to keep on taking to the streets.

“A lot of people think that the protests are only temporary. Just because the hashtags on social media have become less popular it doesn’t mean this over”, she said.

“The racism that is so important to this system continues and we must keep fighting against it.”

Cowardly

Nilton also pointed out just how cowardly politicians have been when it comes to the black lives matter movement.

“I was disappointed with Keir Starmer when said the Black Lives Matter was a moment, not a movement. It’s just made it clear to me that the fight is on the streets and it’s the only one only we can win” they told Socialist Worker.

As the protesters marched to parliament square they chanted “Boris is a racist and “The system is racist”. Many carried signs bearing the names of those killed by the police in Britain.

Several activists that spoke to Socialist Worker said that the movement in Britain must have clear aims.

Ola said that, “Asking for the defunding of the police and an overhaul in our education system are both solid demands that we can try to win.

“But it’s important that we see that those in power will try and interfere and sedate the movement with gestures. We can’t be satisfied with just this, we need a movement with deep roots in the working class that can make change from the bottom up.”

There were also protests elsewhere in London, and other cities in Britain.

Over 60 people gathered for a protest outside Tottenham police station, north London, on Saturday. There was also a protest outside a police station in Hackney, east London.

It followed a protest on Friday when Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick was invited to speak to community representatives.

After the protest was called on Friday the venue—Tottenham Hotspur football club—cancelled as a result of pressure from activists.

In Cambridge, a number of organisations including stand up the racism held a protest.

Over 100 people marched around the town and held a street meeting outside King’s College at Cambridge University.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.