ANTI-RACISM protesters have gathered in London’s Notting Hill this afternoon – marching for an end to police violence and racism.
The Million People March is taking place on the iconic Notting Hill Carnival route, which was cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to 3,000 police officers were set to be deployed in London over the bank holiday weekend amid fears of public disorder.
The move came after Extinction Rebellion revealed plans for a “civilly disobedient long weekend” and urged its supporters to join the anti-racism protests today.
Demonstrators were heard chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ whilst reggae music was blasted in the background – which is one of the genres associated with Notting Hill Carnival.
The Million People March started at Westbourne Grove and Needham Street and is set to end at Hyde Park.
On the website, the demo’s organisers said: “We are incorporating the Carnival spirit which is to celebrate emancipation from slavery and also to express what freedom means to us as a minority.
“We are taking back control of our heritage out of the hands of our oppressors.
“We want to bring all the different groups calling for Change under one roof, on a global stage, to a global audience to put further pressure on the UK Government.”
Demonstrators have also taken to the streets to fight for an end to excessive use of ‘stop and search’, divestment of police funding into public and social services, and a re-examination of the justice system.
Dozens of protesters have gathered outside Notting Hill tube station – lying down in the road to block oncoming traffic.
Demonstrators have donned placards with slogans about Black Lives Matter, police violence, and the Windrush scandal.
In a statement posted on the MPM’s website, they say the event “reawakened a deep anger towards the current unjust treatment of people, particularly black people, in custody, on arrest as well as during interactions with police in the UK”.
They want to “impugn the current inequalities that beset the black community due to entrenched and systemic racism”.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US, at the hands of white policemen has caused a worldwide reinvigoration of anti-racism protests.
George Floyd was a 46-year-old dad who spent most of his life in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
His death sparked the global Black Lives Matter protests after a video went viral on May 25, 2020, showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck and back as he pleaded for his life.