An estimated 600 people turned up at Stratford’s Black Lives Matter demonstration today (Friday). The event started at 3pm at the bandstand on the Recreation Ground. Organisers, including teenagers Frazer Forbes, Rhianna Barnwell and Shianne Williams, addressed the gathered crowd, many of whom had made banners that they held aloft.
In remembrance of George Floyd, the black Minnesota man whose death at the hands of the police inspired the latest BLM protests, the crowd knelt for nine minutes, the time Floyd was knelt on and killed.
The protest then marched around the town – going over the Tramway Bridge, up Bridge Street, and along the High Street, and Sheep Street before returning to the Rec.
Despite the crowds, social distancing was largely adhered to, with most attending wearing face masks. There was a notable police presence, but the day appeared to go peacefully.
Not everyone was sympathetic to the protesters: a large group of white men gathered around the War Memorial; they told the Herald they were there to protect the monument from potentially being defaced. They dismissed the protest as being “not necessary”.
Read more about this story in next week’s Herald.