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ACTIVISTS got down on one knee in London’s Trafalgar Square today against institutional racism, despite police warnings that such mass demonstrations could be “unlawful” during coronavirus restrictions.
The protest in tribute to George Floyd, who was murdered by US police, is one of many that have taken place across Britain over the week.
Demonstrators knelt two metres apart in the shadow of Nelson Mandela’s statue, wearing masks and carrying placards condemning racism and brutality.
Banners read: “I am human – that is enough,” “Colour is not a crime” and “No justice, no peace, prosecute the police.”
Protester Dee Ndlovu said: “I kneel for the ones who are not heard and the ones who do not get a hashtag, the ones who do not get pictures or a social media campaign, the ones who have been forgotten in history and time.”
Earlier, Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said the protests should not take place under current coronavirus restrictions, as “the health protection regulations are really clear that it is unlawful.”
Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) co-convenor Weyman Bennett encouraged members of the public to take part in actions while keeping their social distance.
He told the Star that the government was “ill-fitted” to convince people not to be out in the streets while Dominic Cummings went unpunished after “illustrating contempt for the sacrifice” of front-line workers.
“We are opposed to any draconian use of power,” he said.
“The majority of people complied with the government’s request of a lockdown because they were persuaded by the argument. We want persuasion not coercion.
“Let’s organise socially distanced demonstrations and events so everybody can participate.”
Mr Bennett called on the public to take the knee outside their doorsteps on Wednesday at 6pm.
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