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A Black Lives Matter march is being organised in Newport

A peaceful protest is due to be held in Newport, showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Organisers say it is a peaceful march in reaction to the murder of black Minnesota man George Floyd.

One of the organisers, Andrew Ogun, decided to help put the march on because he believes now is the time to change attitudes.

The 22-year-old, who has seen racism in Newport, said: “It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back – we’re going through a global crisis which is also disproportionately affecting black, Asian and other ethnic minorities – and to top it off with the unlawful and violent killing of George Floyd.

“My people have had enough and rightly so.”

Andrew Ogun, one of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter march in Newport

He added: “In terms of my own personal motivation – I’m here in the UK and a lot of people might say it’s happening overseas but we’re never too far removed about that type of violence in my opinion and it’s not like the UK is exempt in participating in instances of police brutality.

“My motivation is that it’s time. It’s time that we rise, peacefully. I don’t believe that violence is the answer. But I’m not going to judge how people’s anger and trauma manifests.

“For me, here in Newport, a peaceful march is a great way to talk, connect and suggest real, viable solutions for these issues – in a peaceful manner.”

He talked about the differences in racism between the US and the UK: “In the US it’s explicit, in the UK it’s implicit. Implicit bias is an issue.

“It’s more subtle.”

Hundreds of people gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest George Floyd’s death:

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Andrew also talked about how he was unfairly treated at just 14 years old.

He said he was hanging out with friends of various ages, and he was searched, as the only black person in the group. Other friends had alcohol, however he didn’t. But the next day, he said he had a letter telling him he had to attend an antisocial behaviour session, while none on of his white friends received the same letter.

Andrew added: “It’s disheartening. It’s a stark reminder of your race – it hits you like a lightning bolt.

“When I get off the phone with my and they all told me they didn’t have letters, I just sat there and my mum just sat there and we both knew exactly why.”

“I literally hit me like a lightning bolt.”

One of the other organisers, Jaicie Davies, is just 14 years old. She began organising on Instagram, which is how Andrew, and the other organiser Shannon got involved after finding the page. Jaicie said she got involved after her friends witnessed racism – and said the response has shocked her.

She said: “I may be young but I really wanted to do something about this.

“Because it is our generation who will have to grow up in this world so we have rights to fight for what we believe in.

“We will be the change.”

So, where is it being held?

The protest will start at the Civic Centre in Newport and the march will finish at Belle Vue Park.

Organisers are asking people to adhering to social distancing rules at all times; from the initial meeting, to the march.

Here’s the route:

The route for the Black Lives Matter march in Newport

They add that families should stick with members of their household and individuals must respect the 2m rule.

Please bring your own masks, gloves, food and water if possible. If you want to wear non-recognisable clothing you are free to do so.

When is it happening?

For more details on the protest visit the Facebook event page.

The Newport Black Lives Matter protest will take place on Thursday, June 11.

It’ll be starting at 1pm and expected to finish around 4pm.


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