Peaceful protest in Glemsford shows solidarity with global Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality
Demonstrators in a Suffolk village braved the torrid weekend weather, to stand in a show of solidarity with ongoing protests against racism and police brutality.
A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest took place at Tye Green in Glemsford on Saturday, which drew between 50 to 60 people, as thousands of rallies continue around the world, following the death of an African-American man last month.
George Floyd died on May 25, while being restrained by police in the US city of Minneapolis.
Video footage showing the 46-year-old repeatedly pleading he could not breathe, as an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, sparked mass demonstrations globally.
Clare McGlasham, who organised the protest in Glemsford, told the Free Press she was overwhelmed by the level of support from attendees and those who expressed their support as they drove by.
“Although I am aware this was a small-scale protest, I feel that it achieved its purpose in raising awareness and getting people talking about racism, which is something we need to continue doing,” she said.
“In light of this, I believe it was absolutely the right thing to do and I do not regret it.
“With regards to the protests across the world, I believe it shows the overwhelming disgust so many have towards what happened to George Floyd, and the racist treatment of so many black people before him.
“People have come together to demonstrate their condemnation of racism, which is another step forward towards positive change.”
Meanwhile, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge described the death of George Floyd as “shocking, brutal and completely unacceptable”, and stated he understood the anger and frustration many have felt.
He voiced his support for people’s right to protest, but criticised those who have used the moment as an excuse for violence or vandalism, such as painting graffiti on the Cenotaph war memorial in London.
“Racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society,” he said. “I welcome how far we have come to tackle racism and discrimination in our country, and understand there is more that must be done to ensure an individual’s skin colour is not a barrier to achievement, or a reason for unfair treatment.
“The right to protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and I am proud that these rights are valued by our Government.
“It is important that any protest that takes place on our shores is, at all times, peaceful and within the law, and in this unique moment, respects the need for social distancing.
“I have no doubt that the vast majority of people who attended demonstrations this weekend did so in the right spirit, and without creating any disturbance of the peace.
“Whilst George Floyd was killed in another jurisdiction, the events have clearly triggered a response from many in this country, who feel strongly about the continued need to tackle racism.”
More by this authorThomas Malina
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