Forming a mile-long line along the seafront, activists holding signs staged a silent protest on Saturday afternoon. Then, after a few minutes of applause, the protesters marched into the city. Although for the most part, the protest appeared to be a peaceful demonstration, tensions rose briefly as they passed a police divide separating them from a small group of counter-protesters.
It was reported that when protesters shouted: “Say his name, George Floyd.” they were then met with the counter chant, “Rule Britannia.”
Despite this, officers maintained a divide between the anti-racism activists and the group assembled at the war memorial.
The peaceful protest continued elsewhere in the city as a large group of protestors gathered at one of Brighton’s parks, where speeches from BLM activists took place.
People filled the streets of Brighton and Hove for almost five hours today to show their support for, and solidarity with, the Black Lives Matter movement.
The turnout for the demonstration surpassed all expectations, with those taking part estimating that the demonstration stood almost 10,000 strong at its peak.
The leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Nancy Platts, joined the protesters this afternoon.
She said: “I attended the silent protest on Madeira Drive.
“It was very moving and very powerful. A peaceful and respectful event.”
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Meanwhile, unrelated to the Black Lives Matter protests in Brighton, London experienced riots from supposed “far-right supporters” who were claiming to be defending the Winston Churchill statue.
More than 100 people have been arrested following violent protests in London this Saturday, according to the MET Police.
PM Boris Johnson said: “Racist thuggery has no place on our streets.”
During the riots in central London, a picture circulated on Twitter showing a man appearing to urinate next to a memorial of PC Keith Palmer, who was killed in the 2017 Westminster attack.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the “desecration” of PC Palmer’s memorial was “utterly shameful”.
Met Police Commander Bas Javid added: “We are aware of a disgusting and abhorrent image circulating on social media of a man appearing to urinate on a memorial to PC Palmer.
“We have immediately launched an investigation, and will gather all the evidence available to us and take appropriate action.”
However, separately on Saturday, a number of peaceful anti-racism protests were held in London and around the country.