Black Lives Matter demonstrators hold moving tribute on College Green

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By Teddy Coward, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Today's events come just days before an expected 4,000-strong march is due to take place in Bristol this Sunday.

Hundreds of demonstrators lay down on College Green today in a moving tribute that echoed George Floyd’s final moments as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The peaceful demonstration began in Eastville Park at 12:30pm before people marched southwest and arrived at College Green.

In a moment of reflection, the demonstrators lay on the floor for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time that Floyd did when white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck on Monday last week.

Earlier this week a private post-mortem examination found that Floyd died due to lack of oxygen (asphyxia), as a result of the compression on his neck applied by Chauvin.

Today, protestors chanted ‘I can’t breathe’, which resounded across College Green. In addition they shouted: ‘What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.’

Omar Chowdhury, Chair of Bristol University's Student's Union's BME Network, who attended the event, said: 'There was a real community spirit.

'It’s so important for these kinds of movements to be grassroots and I believe they should be grassroots. It really felt like the community was coming together.'

Two police officers also attended the event. One was reportedly asked by a demonstrator to join in with those lying on the ground, although he declined and is believed to have said: 'We have to be impartial.'

On Sunday there is expected to be a 4,000-strong demonstration, which will begin at 1pm on College Green, before people plan to march to Castle Park, where it will finish at around 5pm.

On Sunday there is expected to be a 4,000-strong demonstration taking place.

The protests in Bristol are one of many worldwide demonstrations taking place following Floyd’s death, protesting against racial inequality.

Those who wish to get involved with the movement in conjuction with protesting can sign the ‘Justice for George Floyd’ petition as well as donating through a number of channels.

These include the Black Lives Matter website; the Official George Floyd memorial fund, set up by Floyd's sister, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and via the Students in Support of National Lawyers Guild's Facebook donation.

Featured Image: Tom Wren


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