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Hundreds attend Black Lives Matter protest on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds




A mixed race woman who spoke at a Black Lives Matter protest in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend has said she felt ‘empowered’ after the event.

Afrika Green was one of several guest speakers at the protest, which saw hundreds of people gather on Angel Hill on Sunday.

“When I first heard that there was going to be a protest in Bury I was quite negative about it,” said the 30-year-old drummer. “I thought there wasn’t much point in holding a protest in what is a predominantly white area and I thought there would be people heckling.

The Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives event. Picture by Emma Ratcliffe (Instagram @emmaratcliffestudio) (36234372)
The Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives event. Picture by Emma Ratcliffe (Instagram @emmaratcliffestudio) (36234372)

“But when I saw how many people came along to stand with us - people of all ages, colours and creeds - I felt more empowered and like I’ll be able to help tackle these issues and educate people.”

The protest was held to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, protests for which have recently been sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota.

A nine minute silence was held to represent the length of time a policeman knelt on the neck of George Floyd.

The Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives event. Picture by Emma Ratcliffe (Instagram @emmaratcliffestudio) (36234236)
The Bury St Edmunds for Black Lives event. Picture by Emma Ratcliffe (Instagram @emmaratcliffestudio) (36234236)

“We don’t see that brutality here from the police but there are issues around what is taught about black history in schools and I think that would be a good place to start. We need to learn to be more inclusive and understanding towards all races and look at other parts of UK history which need to be discussed,” said Afrika.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I pray that this terrible tragedy will push us all to root out racism and prejudice, in whatever form it appears.”

For more pictures, see this week's Bury Free Press.