All you need to know about today’s Black Lives Matters protest in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 10:55 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 06 June 2020
Hundreds of people are set to attend a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Ipswich this weekend following the death of unarmed George Floyd in America – here’s everything you need to know about the event.
When and where will it take place?
Hundreds of protestors are set to gather in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park between 2pm and 6pm today (Saturday).
The event was initially due to be held at outside Ipswich Town Hall, but works on the Cornhill – combined with the need for social distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic – meant the venue was changed earlier this week.
Holding the event in the park should make it easier to adhere to government regulations to keep two metres apart at all times.
What is happening?
During the event, approximately seven speakers will talk about race equality issues to the gathered crowds.
There will also be a kneel in memory of George Floyd.
Why are people protesting?
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The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, May 25 has shocked the world and sparked widespread protests, including in many UK towns and cities.
The video of a police officer kneeling on his neck while Floyd gasped: “I can’t breathe” has also triggered a wave of riots in America.
Dental nurse Sheila Barbosa, who has organised the Ipswich protest, said: “This is a human race matter.
“The protest is against racism and we want to be able to walk free – black people want to be free.
“We should all be doing this, we should come together as people for the good of the human race.
“This is a problem not just in America. Just because we haven’t seen this in Suffolk doesn’t mean we don’t need to do this.
“We need to do this before anything happens – not afterwards because it happened.”
What about social distancing?
Naturally, during the current coronavirus crisis, any activity outdoors raises questions about social distancing.
While huge numbers are supportive of the protests, scenes of crowds gathered in London has sparked fears amongst some that mass gatherings – however well intentioned – could cause the virus to spread.
Miss Barbosa has urged all protesters to comply with Covid-19 government regulations by adhering to social distancing during the event and wearing face masks.
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