A Black Lives Matter peaceful protest is being held in Cheltenham

A Black Lives Matter peaceful protest is being organised in Cheltenham’s Pittville Park, this June 2020, with demonstrators encouraged to wear face masks and reminded to social distance.

Black Lives Matter protests have been held in cities across the globe this summer – with Gloucestershire now set to host its own peaceful, anti-racism demonstration in Cheltenham.

Organised on Facebook, where 4,000 people have now expressed an interest in attending the event, the Cheltenham Black Lives Matter protest is scheduled to take place at Pittville Park, on the lawn in front of Pittville Pump Room, on Monday 8 June 2020 at 2pm.

As well as in cities coast-to-coast across America, Black Lives Matter demonstrations have also taken place in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Dublin, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, with demonstrators condemning racism and demanding justice for George Floyd – a black man who died when a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday 25 May 2020.

While some of the Black Lives Matter protests have resulted in violent clashes between protestors and police forces in America, and arrests were made at the London Trafalgar Square protest, it is hoped that the Cheltenham Pittville Park protest will be peaceful.

Young people from the community will be speaking at the event to express how events in America have affected them and how they relate to local issues. There will also be a mass one minute kneel in honour of George Floyd. With the event expected to end at 4pm.

Event leader, 19-year-old Shekinah Swamba, said: ‘I felt so frustrated and helpless, I had to do something and would have been happy to see even 10 of my friends turn up to listen to what I had to say, but I have been over the moon by the response and support I have received from everyone.’

Face masks are mandatory and organisers have reminded all those attending to bring signs, as well as water, hand sanitiser and to maintain two-metre social distancing. The Cheltenham Mutual Aid group has said it will be attending with a small supply of masks, for those who haven’t managed to get hold of one.

The official Black Lives Matter Global Network describes the movement as one which ‘builds power to bring justice, healing and freedom to black people across the globe’.

For more information, and join in the discussion, see the event on Facebook.

© SoGlos
Monday 08 June 2020

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