HUNDREDS took to the streets of Leamington to add their voice to the Black Lives Matter protest which has swept the globe.
It follows the death of George Floyd in the USA. The unarmed 46-year-old black man died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe”.
Gian Clare, the head of Warwick District’s UN Association, spoke to the protesters from the bandstand in the Pump Room Gardens.
Jess Richardson, a 19-year-old former student at Campion School, said: “It is heart-breaking and horrifying that Floyd lost his life in such a heinous way. His death was unnecessary and wrong. This called many to action, to protest systemic racism which has weaved itself into the 21st century – the post-Civil Rights era.
“President Trump has fuelled tensions by threatening to enact the Insurrection Act of 1807 and posting on Twitter comments such as “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” which violated Twitter’s terms of service. It is saddening that the president of a nation that has in the past, helped other countries and societies when they were in need, has actively incited violence. It is disheartening that a country that prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and people from all over the world, has such a deeply ingrained problem with systemic racism.
“However, in all this darkness, there have been moments of hope and unity across the world. Because this is what we must do when the ‘going gets tough’ – come together for change, no matter what. This echoes Amnesty International’s adopted slogan, an ancient Chinese proverb which says, “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”.
“Around the world, not just in the US, we are demanding justice for George Floyd and for those that have been killed at the hands of the police.”
Click sunriseproject.eu/black-lives-matter-global-momentum/ to read the full article by Jess on the Project Sunrise website.
All pictures by Ben Compton Photography.