There was a BHM protest in front of Essentials

Around 30 people stood in front of Essentials defending the integrity of BHM

A protest of several dozen people assembled in front of Essential’s today to protest the Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan picture controversy.

Several Sabbs, fresh from theirĀ roasting the night before, were in attendance, including the embattled president of Kent Union Rory Murray.

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The mood was largely collaborative and even optimistic. Sasha Langevelde, the organiser of the protest, spoke frequently on a megaphone about the need for it. She said: “Today is not about bashing the uni. It’s about bringing UKC together”.

“Throwing eggs at Rory would be a bigger embarrassment if there is no change”.

She spoke about past and present inspirational black people, including Barack Obama, Mary Seacole and John Archer, the 1913 Mayor of London and first black person elected to the position.

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“Who are we?!” shouted Sasha at the height of the speech, to an audience roar of “UKC!”

Offering the microphone to others in the crowd, Mrs Langevelde gave opportunities for several to speak about their thoughts.

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When asked why she had organised this event, Sarah explained: “I was outraged. I at first thought Zayn was playing here but to put him up as the face of Black History Month?

“That’s a national embarrassment.”

The future was bright as far as she was concerned: “Everyone was like ‘we need a change’ and the Union accepts that.

“We will give them a second chance. I have faith they have learned.”

She went on to elaborate that if the Union didn’t learn from this opportunity, then this sort of outrage would continue, but as sure that the presence of several Sabbs was a sign things were changing.

Asked to summarise the entire saga in one word, she said: “Transgressional”.

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One attendee was Simeon Onaji, a second year Politics and IR with French student. He came to the event because he was “shocked and horrified by the whole event.

Asked how the Union should proceed, he argued: “The Union needs to approach the ACS (The African and Caribbean Society) and bring them in when doing these things.

“If they were actually involved these incidents would not happen.”

Later he criticised Kent Union’s plea that they were only adhering to National Union of Students guidelines. He commented: “If the NUS jumped into a fire, would Kent Union jump in with them?”

Asked to summarise everything in one word, he reached for the word “diabolical”.

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