‘It’s all about getting black voices heard’: Bristol to host Black Lives Matter peaceful protest on Sunday
Over 7000 people have expressed interest on the Facebook page
Bristol, along with many cities across the country, are hosting a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on College Green this Sunday.
The protest will begin at 1pm, where there will be speakers and information stations to educate people attending. The march will then proceed at 2pm, and culminate at Castle Park.
This demonstration is part of many across the world, sparked by the death of George Floyd on the 25th of May, in Minneapolis. It was reported that Mr Floyd was arrested after allegedly paying for his groceries with a counterfeit $20 note. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, ended his life by pressing his knee into his neck.
George Floyd is one of the appalling amount of people whose life has been ended by racial injustice, and protests such as this one are fighting to end it.
The Bristol Tab spoke to Yvonne Maina, one of the organisers, about the demonstration.
She told us, “The nature of the protest is to be peaceful, it’s all about getting black voices heard and creating a space we don’t seem to have at school, work or even in our own homes.”
A post on the Facebook page reads, “We are not condoning, nor will we be participating in any kind of violence or verbal abuse. This is a PEACEFUL protest. We repeat, a PEACEFUL protest.”
Maina also said: “It’s taking place in solidarity with everything that’s happening in the USA and we’re protesting on the same day as a couple of other cities in the UK. The UK isn’t innocent as many black lives have been lost here.
“At the protest, we will have a couple of speakers at the beginning and end talking about what it was like growing up and being black, we’re also trying to maintain social distancing so we will be handing out PPE.”
Maina directs you to donate through PayPal [email protected] if you are able. This money will be used to fund PPE for the march, with the rest being donated to BLM charities.
The organisers have also released a statement in response to concerns over social distancing.
It highlights: “We, as organisers, are cognisant to the fact that attending the protest will be extremely detrimental to some and we want to make explicitly clear: we do not encourage you to attend if you are someone who is vulnerable/at high risk.
“Likewise, if you are currently living with people who are vulnerable/high risk, we advise that you do not attend to protect the safety of those people in your lives.
“The issue of Coronavirus is not one that we take lightly. However, the mass brutalising of black people by authorities is not something we take lightly either.
“We’re protesting because we have had enough. Protests such as these, and the ones we are seeing going on in the US, are taking place because, for black people, this is a matter of life or death, and frustrations have bubbled over to the point where they cannot be contained.”
If you cannot make it to the demonstration of Sunday, here are some useful links on how to help from afar recommended by Maina:
A document containing petitions, educational resources and donation sites. It also highlights numbers to text in order to demand justice, and instructions for emailing complaints to those responsible.
Featured Image: Imran Suleiman @suledigital (Instagram)