HUNDREDS OF protestors brought London to a standstill this weekend with a series of Black Lives Matter protests around the capital.
The trio of peaceful protests, starting on Friday (July 8) in the Southbank area, then in Brixton yesterday (July 9) and culminating in Oxford Circus this morning (July 10), saw a diverse crowd uniting to show collective anger at the police killings of two black men in the US.
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father was fatally shot by police in Baton Rogue, Louisana, on Tuesday (July 5). He had reportedly been selling CDs outside of a petrol station.
A day later, 32-year-old Philando Castile was fatally wounded in his car by an officer who believed he was reaching for a gun.
Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who livestreamed the bloody aftermath of the traffic stop gone wrong on Wednesday (July 6), claims he was was wounded while reaching for his wallet.
Their deaths and accompanying videos showing their treatment at the hands of law enforcement has caused widespread around the globe.
Two of the three marches were organised by the Black Lives Matter London Movement who, via their Twitter account, say it’s a “plea, a cry for help”.
“The people are uniting worldwide and what does that show? That we, as people have had ENOUGH,” they wrote on Twitter.
“London is a large city and has one of the largest number of ethnic minorities in England. Should we stop fighting for them?
“You don’t think it hurts waking up every morning seeing those with the same skin colour as us on the news murdered in cold blood?”
Black Lives Matter London Movement founder Maryam Ali told The Voice that she hoped these marches would show that the UK is standing in solidarity with “our American brothers and sisters”.
The 18-year-old, who is currently in sixth form, said: “By these people coming here to stand and unite, they are showing that they are against police brutality and that’s the most important thing.”
“I think people forget that racism is a worldwide thing. It’s still very prevalent. This is ultimately a cry for help. ”
Asked why she felt three protests were necessary, she added: “Sometimes people just focus on the now. It creates a buzz now, but in time you’ll forget it. We’re going to keep showing our support.”
A fourth march is planned for August.
Written by Dionne Grant
Published at The Voice website