Crowds gather for Black Lives Matter protest in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
A large crowd of campaigners gathered in Norwich city centre on Sunday to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hundreds of people, many decked out with face coverings and protest banners, took to The Forum in Norwich to make their voices heard in the face of racial discrimination.
The demo, which was broadcast across the Internet for supporters at home, saw protesters gather in front of the landmark building, spanning from the corner of Bethel Street to Rampant Horse Street on the other side, with the numbers spilling back towards the Haymarket.
More gathered in Eaton Park to hear speeches and poetry, again streamed live online.
Campaigners young and old stood shoulder to shoulder in rows, with most appearing to try their best to observe social distancing measures - assisted by police officers and stewards.
There were cheers and chants of “Black Lives Matter” from the large and diverse crowd, however, as several speakers made their addresses the observers fell deadly silent.
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In a powerful address, one said: “Enough is enough. We are all the same. We all have hearts, we all have lungs and we all breathe the same air.”
A particularly poignant moment of the demonstration, which had a significant police presence, saw the protesters come together in song, in a rendition of Bob Marley’s peace anthem One Love.
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At another point during the demonstration, protesters took a knee on the ground, a symbolic gesture of the Black Lives Matter movement,
The protests were part of a movement that has swept the globe since the death of an American man, George Floyd, who died after being knelt on for more than eight minutes by a police officer.
The incident, which has seen officer Derek Chauvin dismissed from Minneapolis Police and charged with second-degree murder.
However, while demonstrations in the capital over the weekend saw violent scenes, the Norwich event was, for the most part, peaceful.
Following the day’s demonstrations, organisers carried on the conversation via a Zoom meeting, during which local activists continued to discuss the issues of the day and share their experience.