A peaceful Black Lives Matter sit in with social distancing is being held beneath Capstone in Ilfracombe tomorrow (Thursday, June 11).
The seafront sit in starts at 1.30pm and organisers will be making chalk marks six feet apart on the area in front of the hill to allow people to socailly distance.
People are being invited to attend but asked to wear a mask if possible and take hand sanitiser – and not to attend if they have any Covid-19 symptoms such as a persistent cough or temperature.
The event has been organised by 20-year-old Buddy Lewis, who said he was disgusted by a ‘vile’ threads of comments on a local Facebook page.
It followed the suggestion that #blacklivesmatter be cut into the grass on Capstone in the same manner as the recent ‘Thank You NHS’ symbol.
Black Lives Matter protests have been happening all over the UK and the world following the death of black man George Floyd in America during his arrest by white police officers.
On Thursday, June 4, hundreds of people turned out for a peaceful protest in Barnstaple Square.
Buddy told the Gazette 90 per cent of the Facebook reactions to the Capstone post were ‘disgusting and said North Devon had ‘huge problems with ignorance and racism’.
He said: “The comments under this kind-hearted post weren’t what she was expecting.
“Ilfracombe showed its true colours in those comments, referring to black people as thugs, dismissing the problem with the stupid ‘all lives matter’ statements, saying it would ruin their view, even using racist remarks. The ignorance was endless.
“After discussing it in shock and anger with my friends we decided to hold a peaceful protest in Ilfracombe, at the base of capstone specifically.
“Our hopes are to educate the people of Ilfracombe, share some love and most of all, show our support for the black lives matter movement.”
He said he had seen and heard numerous examples of racism in North Devon.
Buddy said: “People in Devon are always very quick to say that we don’t have any racial issues here.
“But it’s because they don’t see it. When you become set in your ways problematic and ignorant views prosper. And sadly there are a lot of set ways around here.
“I grew up very close to an amazing interracial family, they were like family to me! And even way back then when I was a kid, I could see the difference in how they were treated to me.”