Thousands turn out for UK anti-racism protests
People taking part in a demonstration at Downing Street in London, Britain, on June 3, 2020, to protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man suffocated to death on May 25 by a white police officer in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota. Ray Tang/Xinhua/IANS

Thousands turn out for UK anti-racism protests

London, June 7, 2020

Thousands of people participated in anti-racism demonstrations, triggered by the May 25 death of the unarmed African-American man George Floyd in police custody in the United States, across major cities in the United Kingdom, including London, Manchester, Cardiff, Leicester and Sheffield.

In London, the protesters, the majority donning face coverings and many with gloves, on Saturday knelt for a minute's silence before chanting "No Justice, No Peace" and "Black Lives Matter", the BBC reported.

The majority of the day's protests were peaceful but in the evening there were disturbances outside Downing Street.

According to the BBC, the protest was largely over when missiles and fireworks were thrown at a police line.

Police horses were used to regain control, but one horse galloped ahead and its rider fell to the ground after hitting her head on a traffic light. Her injuries were not life-threatening, the Metropolitan Police said.

Fourteen people were arrested and 10 officers were injured after a smaller group became "angry and intent on violence", the force added.

The protests went ahead despite officials advising against mass gatherings due to coronavirus.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, police said they had issued "a significant number" of fines given the dangers of crowds in the pandemic and organisers would now be reported to the Public Prosecution Service with a view to prosecution.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, anti-racism campaigners renamed streets that have links to the slave trade, replacing street signs with the names of enslaved Africans, black activists and victims of police brutality.

Demonstrations were scheduled in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen on Sunday.

In Manchester about 15,000 protesters gathered at Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, clapping in unison and holding placards bearing the initials BLM.

Elsewhere, several hundred people marched in Newcastle, while many more took part in an online protest organised in the north-east of England.

More protests took place across Europe on Saturday and huge rallies are taking place in major cities across the US.


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