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Video and pictures: Hundreds turn out for Black Lives Matter protest in Aberdeen city centre

Around 1,000 anti-racism campaigners took part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Aberdeen city centre today.

The good-natured demonstration, which took place between 1pm and 3pm on Union Street, was the largest of its kind in the city since the death of George Floyd in the US last month.

The 46-year-old African American died after a police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.

Demonstrators, chanting, cheering and singing, walked from the Trinity Centre to St Nicholas Street before dispersing in all directions.

Unlike demonstrations in other parts of the country, statues were not defaced. Organisers of the march had arranged for war veterans to stand guard at the Cowdray Hall war memorial.

Ahead of today’s event organiser Olaoluwa Akisanya called for “continuous action” to tackle racism.

The 23-year-old is president of the African and Caribbean Society at Aberdeen University and arranged the event to stand in solidarity with US protesters.

He said: “I believe for us to progress as a community these types of demonstrations and these protests are important for change.

“I was born and raised in Aberdeen so to see the community come together is amazing.

“The main goal is to empower the community in tackling issues we face and have an outlet for those affected by injustices.

“It is healthy for people to express this in a way that can bring positive change.”

Organiser behind Aberdeen Black Lives Matter protest urges for ‘continuous action’

Last Sunday a poster protest was held which saw supporters of the movement hang posters at Duthie Park, Victoria Park, Skene Square and Marischal College.

Organiser Mae Diansangu from Enigma Aberdeen said people responded well to the point they were trying to get across. She said: “The response has been amazing.

“The message really is that people in Aberdeen do care about this issue. They don’t just think it is something that happens in America.

“They understand that there is a problem in the UK and there is a problem all around Scotland. They are willing to support people who suffer racialised violence in the States but also people here  in their own communities as well.

“I think that is a really powerful message and it shows solidarity.”

Pictures by Kath Flannery & Video by Darrell Benns

 

 

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