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Ferguson to London: ‘Black Lives Matter’

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Emotions ran high as protesters took to Oxford Street yesterday night. In a stance against the grand jury ruling to not indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown on August 9th 2014.

Organised by the London Black Revs and Stand Up To Racism, hundreds gathered outside the American Embassy to demonstrate against state oppression, police brutality and the devaluation of black lives.

Protest outside the American Embassy. Photo by Marcus Drinkwater

Protest outside the American Embassy. Photo by Marcus Drinkwater

With candles and pickets that read ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’, the protest began outside the American Embassy at 6pm. The ethnically diverse crowd chanted “No Justice No Peace” and as police stood guard, the chants occasionally changed to “No Justice No Peace Fuck the Police”, but solidarity and non-violence reigned supreme amongst protesters.

At 7pm, the hundreds were slowly turning in to thousands and prominent figures had begun to speak to the protesters. Speakers included NUS Black Students’ Officer Malia Bouattia, Carole Duggan, the aunt of Mark Duggan who spoke on the similarity between the deaths of Mark

Protest outside the American Embassy. Photo by Marcus Drinkwater

Protest outside the American Embassy. Photo by Marcus Drinkwater

Duggan and Michael Brown, “Both raising their hands in surrender … A smear campaign against their families … it’s not just an American problem” and the powerful words “Young beautiful people you will have to fight for justice your whole life”.

Another speaker was Marcia Rigg, the sister of Sean Rigg, who in 2008 died in police custody, spoke on the importance of the protest and the unbelievable statement given by Darren Wilson.

After the speeches, protesters began marching on Oxford Street, originally walking on the pavement; the march took the streets where traffic halted as the protest went from Oxford Street to Parliament Square. Pedestrians and workers stopped and many welcomed the marching, filming it on their phones and joining protesters on the street.

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