BLM demonstrators wore black and held up signs against systemic racism gathered by the city’s famous Palace Pier at midday today before moving off through the streets. Many were wearing face masks and had placards with slogans including “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”.
Meanwhile, a group of counter-protesters gathered by the town’s war memorial to protect it, after incidents of vandalism in previous protests.
Tensions rose briefly as police formed a line separating them from the small group of counter-protesters occupying the monument.
The BLM campaigners set off along the seafront shouting “Black lives matter every day” and “UK is not innocent”.
As the BLM protesters passed the Brighton war memorial, they were being serenaded by a string quartet.
Thousands of BLM protesters took to Brighton seafront
The protests were largely peaceful
The musical tribute is in stark comparison to a previous Black Lives Matter protest last month which saw a small group occupy the stone monument amid a heavy police presence.
Gathering in their thousands at The Level, the protesters shouted out in unison: “It is our duty to do this every day.
“It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.
“We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.”
Police had to separate the BLM activists from counter protesters
Police said the line between the two groups was being maintained to allow both to “have their say”.
There have also been calls for the popular seafront resort to become an officially anti-racist city.
Carmen Appich, chair of the Bright City Council’s tourism, equality, communities and culture committee, said: “In the wake of the sickening killing of George Floyd (in the US) the global calls for change and the impact of COVID-19 on black and ethnic minority people, we made a public pledge to become an anti-racist council.
“We acknowledge that it is not enough to be non-racist and we must actively use our privilege, position as community leaders and platforms to challenge structural racism and injustice within the council and in the city.”
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BLM protests started following the death of George Floyd
The Black Lives Matter protests started after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man.
He died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes sparking outcry across the world.
It has caused the toppling of many statues with people who had links to racism or slavery including Edward Colston in Bristol and Christopher Columbus.