Around 5,000 people have marched through Brighton in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Large crowds of demonstrators set off from the city’s Palace Pier at midday on Saturday, with many carrying signs that read ‘Decolonise everything’ and ‘Defund the police’.
Protestors shouted ‘Black lives matter every day’ and ‘UK is not innocent’ as they walked together along the seafront and were serenaded by a string quartet as they passed the Brighton war memorial.
Congregating at The Level, thousands of demonstrators called out together: ‘It is our duty to do this every day. It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.
‘We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.’
It comes days after footage of a young man being held down by police emerged.
He shouted ‘I can’t breathe’ during the incident, complaining that one of the officers was putting pressure on his neck.
The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
One protestor using a loudspeaker shouted this afternoon: ‘Sussex Police has recently been filmed using excessive force on a young black man.’
A man was arrested at the protest on Saturday on suspicion of using threatening and abusive words which were allegedly directed towards the event.
Chief Inspector Jon Carter said: ‘We would like to say thank you to the participants and also to those who weren’t involved in the protest, but who may have been held up for a short time while the event made its way through the city, for their patience and support.’
The demonstration follows mass anti-racism protests across the world in June in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed father who was filmed lying face-down on the road, begging for air with a white officer’s knee on his neck.
There have been calls for Brightonto become an official anti-racist city.
Carmen Appich, chair of the council’s tourism, equality, communities and culture committee, said: ‘In the wake of the sickening killing of George Floyd (in the US) the global calls for change and the impact of Covid-19 on black and ethnic minority people, we made a public pledge to become an anti-racist council.
‘We acknowledge that it is not enough to be non-racist and we must actively use our privilege, position as community leaders and platforms to challenge structural racism and injustice within the council and in the city.’
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