Black Lives Matter solidarity protest happening in Edinburgh this weekend

It will be a socially distant protest in Holyrood Park

Edinburgh activists have organised a static protest to support Black Lives Matter this Sunday, June 7th at Holyrood Park.

The protest is not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organisation but aims to show solidarity with movements occurring across the world.

The event says: “As America mourns the loss of George Floyd, killed by a police officer, London have announced their protest on the 7th, Scotland need to join everyone and show our support against racism and discrimination as this is very much alive in the UK/Scotland.”

From the Facebook event

The event initially caused controversy due to white organisers and cooperation with the police.

One comment on the Facebook event said: “Organizers of a BLM and anti-police brutality march should fundamentally not coordinate with police.

Also, things of this nature should be exclusively coordinated by Black folks.”

However, the event has since gained what many see as a more authentic representation of the movement.

Lizzay Riungu, one of the new event organisers, said in a post: “The organisation of the event is now being led by members of the black community with help from other POC and white allies.

We have combined with a second event originally set up as a POC-led alternative to this one.

The original organiser has stepped down to free the space for black organisers to lead and to reflect on her well-intentioned but counterproductive words and actions.

In regards to the police the new organisers are not coordinating with them and have not sought permission to go ahead with the event.”

Posters at the US Consulate, credit: Keira Wraae-Stewart

Additionally, “in the interests of safeguarding those attending from injustices of the type this occasion is protesting, Legal Observers will be present.”

As well as concern over the protest’s leadership, many have showed concern for such a large gathering in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatherings of more than two households and eight people are currently illegal in Scotland.

To mediate this risk, protest organisers urge attendees to maintain a social distance of 2m at all times and bring necessary personal safety provisions.

The event states: “If you are planning on attending the protest you MUST wear a mask and gloves.

Be prepared to isolate for two weeks afterwards. If you are unable to do this, please consider not attending.”

Organisers stress: “The pandemic is not over. If you are not able to attend on the day the event will be live streamed so people will be able to watch in solidarity at home.”

Cover photo: Evie Playfoot-Orme

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