Hundreds of people protest in Cardiff for Black Lives Matter

‘We will not be silenced’

Black Lives Matter protests have been planned across the UK following the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US.

Demonstrations were held in Bute park on Saturday to protest against the discrimination that black communities suffer. Speeches were made at the Stone Circle from 13:00pm until 15:00pm, before the protestors marched towards the National Assembly for Wales.

Several people at the protest were giving out free masks as a measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Protesters were spread out across the park and given regular reminders by the speakers to keep up the social distancing regulations.

Oliver, an Exeter University graduate who moved to Cardiff for work, told The Cardiff Tab: “I was protesting today because it is imperative that we all strive to use our voices to speak out against global racial injustices. Things will not change for those who are oppressed or discriminated against if nobody shows up for them.”

He went on to say: “I hope the protests create change and movement beyond this moment in all societies and also hope it makes those who have committed racially-motivated murder, and people who commit all kinds of racial attacks be held accountable because they have been getting away with it for far too long.”

Ruth, a Cardiff Uni student, told The Cardiff Tab: “We cannot sit back and stay quiet whilst injustice is going on all over the world. It’s important to protest because we need the government and everyone to know that we will not be silenced, we want change and we need change.”

She added that she hoped the protests would achieve “the suspension of tear gas, rubber pellets and riot shields to America; the government to publicly condemn trump and his use of force against his own citizens, and that it shows our solidarity with American citizens facing police brutality and all others facing racing acts”

Rhi, a Cardiff Met student, said to The Cardiff Tab: “Obviously with all the recent events in America, people think that the UK is innocent when it really isn’t.”

She added: “I think it’s about time people stop brushing racism under the carpet. People think the UK is innocent and it’s not, especially not Cardiff. I hope people start to listen now and realise we won’t be silenced until there is justice for everyone.”

Nicole, another Cardiff Uni student, told The Cardiff Tab that she was protesting because, “the black community have had to fight for hundreds of years in order to be treated the same as others, because a group of white people had decided that the colour of your skin makes you less than. I am a strong believer that if you have the privilege to have a voice then you need to use that voice to speak up for those that are always silenced.”

Nicole went on to say: “As a white person, it is my responsibility to use my privilege to help them and further educate other white people.”

She added, “I think protesting is so important because you have people like Donald Trump who go on Twitter to complain and rant, thinking it will blow over and everyone will stop after a week – which has continuously happened for years. But now with social media we are able to see incidents involving the police that we wouldn’t have been able to see years ago – things the media have hidden from us.”

She concluded by noting that it’s important that along with protesting, people need to be educated about privilege, saying:  “being able to jog down the street and being able to sleep in your own bed without the fear that the police will break in and kill you – that is privilege.”

Protesters added that as university students, “It’s important to speak up because the universities are made up from students that come from a variety of different backgrounds and they need to realise that they are not alone in this fight.”