UK Black Lives Matter protesters march from Nelson Mandela statue to Downing St chanting ‘We want Boris’

Protesters marched from Mandela statue to Parliament Square shouting “we want Boris”

Racial justice protesters in England have marched from Nelson Mandela’s statue in London’s Parliament Square to Downing Street.

They had earlier gathered in Parliament Square to commemorate the life of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes.

Mr Floyd’s death at the age of 46 has inspired worldwide demonstrations over racial injustice and mourners gathered in Westminster to observe a minute’s silence on their knees in his memory.

Around 50 activists, some carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs, chanted “we want Boris” and “justice for Windrush” at the gates to Number 10.

Elsewhere in England, around 200 protesters gathered outside Oriel College, University of Oxford, for an anti-racism demonstration against a statue of the imperialist Cecil Rhodes.

The demonstration has been organised by the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaign group as one of several nationwide anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in US police custody.

Organisers placed chalk crosses on the floors in either side of the street outside the entrance to the college, to enforce social distancing.

Ndjodi Ndeunyema, a law student and one of the organisers of today’s demonstration, told the PA news agency: “This is to express solidarity with Black Lives Matter around the world, particularly in the US and the recent happenings there.”

He added the protest was a response to a global conversation about problematic symbolism, “particularly statues that celebrate people who are not worthy of celebration”.

They silently sat down to mark the death of Mr Floyd and afterwards they chanted “take it down” below the statue of Mr Rhodes.

The protest took up a large amount of Oxford high street outside of Oriel College, with demonstrators holding up their fists and remaining silent for eight minutes, 46 seconds in memory of Mr Floyd.

A police helicopter was overhead and several police officers were at the demonstration, including two officers on the steps of the college.

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