‘Manchester should be proud’: Thousands protest for Black Lives Matter

Each day saw upwards of 15,000 people protesting

Two protests for Black Lives Matter took place in the centre of Manchester over the weekend.

The protest on Saturday began in Piccadilly Gardens from 13:00pm and the Sunday protest took place from 14:00pm, starting in St. Peter’s Square.

Both protests received immense turnouts, with many students attending, having congregated in Fallowfield to then travel to the city centre.

The protests were peaceful and masks were provided by organisers, given out during the initial gathering together, to anyone who needed one. PPE was subsequently used by all as to try to adhere as closely to coronavirus guidelines as possible.

The Saturday protest began with a gathering in Piccadilly gardens, where chanting and kneeling took place, in remembrance of George Floyd. A march then set off, circling from Piccadilly Gardens, down Market Street, along Deansgate to St. Peter’s Square, until returning to Piccadilly Gardens.

One protester reflected:

“I didn’t see a single police officer whilst protesting and I am proud of Manchester for that. They respectfully just left us to the protest and did not cause any tension.

“In London there have been so many incidents, mostly stimulated by police presence, whereas Manchester avoided that issue today and respected that the protest would stick to its word in being peaceful. To remove any heavy police presence from the equation guaranteed a protest environment rid of any tensions and showed a respect for the cause. Manchester should be proud.”

Another spokesperson for the protest said:

“Yes perhaps the two metres distance was not as strictly adhered to whilst gathering, but whilst marching everyone definitely tried their best.

“I only saw one person without a mask, and they were immediately given one as there were loads of people going round the crowds with spares.

“The environment was peaceful, everyone being considerate of one another and hence there was an even stronger sense of power and unity. It was an honour to be a part of.”

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