13 July 2020 - 21:44
News ID: 450435
Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Brighton in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rasa - Demonstrators wearing black and holding up signs protesting against systemic racism gathered by the city’s famous Palace Pier at midday on Saturday before moving off through the city, The Guardian reported.

Many wore face masks and carried placards with slogans including “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”.

Up to 5,000 people took part in the peaceful protest, Sussex Police announced.

One man was arrested on suspicion of using threatening and abusive words which were allegedly directed towards the protest event.

Ch Insp Jon Carter said, “We would like to say thank you to the participants and also to those who weren’t involved in the protest, but who may have been held up for a short time while the event made its way through the city, for their patience and support.”

Demonstrators set off along the seafront shouting “Black lives matter every day” and “UK is not innocent”.

As they passed the Brighton war memorial they were serenaded by a string quartet. Last month a small group occupied the monument amid a heavy police presence.

Gathering in their thousands at the Level park after making their way north from the seafront, the protesters joined in a chant that included the words, “We are stronger together. We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.”

The latest protest comes days after an outcry over a video showing a man shouting “I can’t breathe” while being restrained on the ground by three police officers in the city.

Sussex police stated the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground. The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

One protester speaking to the crowds on a megaphone addressed the incident, noting, “Sussex police has recently been filmed using excessive force on a young black man.”

Last month, more than 10,000 protesters marched through the East Sussex city in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.

There have been calls for Brighton to become an officially antiracist city.

Carmen Appich, chair of the council’s tourism, equality, communities and culture committee, announced, “In the wake of the sickening killing of George Floyd [in the US] the global calls for change and the impact of COVID-19 on black and ethnic minority people, we made a public pledge to become an antiracist council."

“We acknowledge that it is not enough to be non-racist and we must actively use our privilege, position as community leaders and platforms to challenge structural racism and injustice within the council and in the city,” Appich added.

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