It took just two days for 20-year-old poet Aliyah Hasinah and her friend Olivia Brown to organise a Black Lives Matter demonstration in their hometown, Birmingham. More than 1,000 people showed up and the event was so successful it was trending on Twitter.
At midday the crowd sat in silence for two hours with tape over their mouths, holding placards with messages demanding justice and raising awareness of the trend of black people dying at the hands of police officers in America.
“It became even more powerful when at 2pm, after sitting in silence for two hours, we ripped off the tape on our mouths and started to march, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter,’” Hasinah told BuzzFeed News.
The 9 July demonstration was held in response to the death of Alton Sterling, 37, who wastackled to the ground before being shot dead by two officers during an incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A day later, Philando Castile was shot dead by police in Minnesota as he reached for his driving licence while sitting in a car with his 4-year-old daughter and girlfriend, whose live stream of the aftermath helped push the killing into the public eye.
But the demonstration in Birmingham was about more than showing solidarity with black people in America. Hasinah said it was also about recognising the people of colour who have died in police custody in the UK. “Solidarity with the US is of course paramount,” she said. “[But it’s] in addition to understanding what we face on our own shores.” more
Video: Ken Hinds, chair of Haringey’s Independent Stop and Search Monitoring Group
Britain’s Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published the latest data on deaths during or following police contact, just as the Black Lives Matter movement formally launches in the UK.
The annual IPCC report examines the period between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
It found there were 14 deaths in or following police custody, 3 fatal police shootings, 13 deaths from traffic accidents related to police pursuit and 60 from suicide following custody.
Black Lives Matter vigil at Belfast City Hall. #BLMBelfast
Horrendous conditions which left me soaked to the bone, managed to salvage a few “alright” quality photos despite the sheer amount of rain water playing havoc.
Capres Willow organised a 3,000 person strong march in support of the two African-American men shot by police in recent weeks in Minnesota and Louisiana
Capres Willow had never been to a protest when she decided to organise, at three days’ notice, a march in central London to support Black Lives Matter, the global activism movement which began in 2013 in the US after the shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, and has continued to campaign against violence towards black people and police brutality.
The 18-year-old, from Waltham Abbey in Essex, expected around 30 of her friends to show up — she ended up with 3,000 on Oxford Street on Sunday, brandishing banners of support for Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the two African-American men shot by police in recent weeks in Minnesota and Louisiana.
“I’d messaged about 10 people in the morning to see if they were interested and my cousin replied, saying: ‘We don’t have nearly enough time before Sunday.’ Basically, it’s a nice thought but it’s not going to happen. She messaged me back that night saying ‘I’m so sorry I ever doubted you.’”
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