Black Lives Matter demo to take place in Harrogate

A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest is to take place in Harrogate this weekend in what its organiser hopes will be a "healing and learning experience" for everyone.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 4:30 pm
Taking the knee at the recent Black Lives Matter vigil in Harrogate.

The event on Saturday, June 20 follows a silent vigil held in Harrogate on June 7 by Harrogate Green Party in memory of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man whose death at the hands of the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 has sparked worldwide protests.

Organiser Josephine Caven says the demonstration will follow all the social distancing rules, the crowd will disperse quickly and safely afterwards and the police have been notified.

Ms Caven said: "I was a spectator at the vigil which was organised by the Green Party.

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"I felt the vigil was a great way of showing sadness at George Floyd's death.

"But I feel Harrogate needs to be part of the collective voice and act on it.

"I have spent a few weeks working hard to organise this with eight speakers.

"The demonstration will aim to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the black community in a way that brings the whole community together for a better future."

Scheduled to last an hour or less, the event will he held at 2pm in the Montpellier Hill area of Harrogate.

People who decide to attend must adhere to the 2m social distancing guidelines and protect themselves and others by wearing face masks and using hand sanitiser.

Ms Caven will be among the eight speakers and says she will be focusing on how to create unity, how to be an ally and how to support the black community.

Other speakers will highlight people's real-life experiences of racism and how to change things.

Ms Caven said: "I want the demonstration to be a healing experience and a learning experience.

"One of the speakers will be discussing what sort of action needs to be taken to change things in the police system here and in our health system.

"I know about All Lives Matter but we need to support the struggle for equality and human rights for the black community."

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