A horse bolted through a crowd of people in central London during a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday 6 June. The incident took place after police mounted on horses clashed with protesters at a peaceful rally outside Downing Street.
The London protest was carried out peacefully for much of Saturday afternoon, but scuffles began at around 6pm when police tried to harass protesters. Videos circulating on social media showed mounted police charging through protesters to try and disperse them. One officer appeared to fall off their horse, which then bolted – sending crowds of people scattering.
The trouble flared following peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the capital and in other cities across the country. A series of marches and demonstrations took place through London, including outside the US Embassy, in protest against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
We can no longer sit back and remain silent on this senseless, unlawful killings and sly racism on another human being – based on what? Only their skin colour.
Many people wore face masks and social-distancing measures were encouraged during events in Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield and Newcastle, among other cities. People wanted to show solidarity with campaigners in the US and to highlight incidents when Black and ethnic minority people in Britain have been victims of racial discrimination and violence at the hands of police and others.
Kate Ferdinand attended the London protest with her ex-footballer husband Rio and their children, and said it was an “overwhelming experience”. In an Instagram post, the reality star said:
Such a moving and overwhelming experience for us today.
Honestly, we were cautious about going and taking the children but we are so glad we made the decision to go, it’s something we will all remember for the rest of our lives.
“There is a virus greater than Covid-19 and it’s called racism”
Earlier in London, most demonstrators who gathered in Parliament Square wore masks and face coverings, with some opting for gloves. Placards carried by demonstrators referenced the coronavirus crisis, with one saying: “There is a virus greater than Covid-19 and it’s called racism”. As the rally began, one organiser used a megaphone to tell the crowds: “We are not here for violence. Today is sheer positivity, today is sheer love”.
Protester Bobbi, 26, from Chingford, London – who did not give her last name, said:
We’re literally living in the history books, we’re going to be teaching our future children about this and I want to say I was here to support that.
Thousands of protesters packed central Manchester. They chanted and clapped in unison and held home-made placards bearing the initials BLM.
Several hundred marchers gathered in Newcastle, while thousands more watched an online protest organised in the north-east of England.
In Sheffield, hundreds of people gathered on Devonshire Green to protest and hold a minute’s silence. During the gathering, which included speeches, they chanted: “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?