Hundreds turn out as Ilfracombe says ‘Black Lives Matter’
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people of all ages turned out for a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration and sit in on Ilfracombe seafront today (Thursday, June 11).
The event in front of Capstone also saw the hillside covered with people, most wearing masks and all observing social distancing, with masks given to those who wanted them.
In common with events around the world following the death of George Floyd during arrest by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, many carried Black Lives Matter signs and posters.
Mr Floyd was pinned to the ground for eight minutes 46 seconds and died as a result. The police officer who knelt on his neck, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with second degree murder.
The Ilfracombe event was inspired by Chanel De’Athe, aged 17, who posted on the Gossip Around Ilfracombe (No Rules) page to suggest that ‘BLM’ be mowed into the grass on Capstone in support of the movement, similar to the recent ‘Thank You NHS’ message.
You may also want to watch:
The response was around 1,000 comments, some negative but also many messages of support.
Shocked by the negative comments, local man Buddy Lewis, aged 20, organised the peaceful sit in, working with Chanel and his friends on the day.
- 1 Man charged with murder of Northam pensioner
- 2 Council and police step up Covid enforcement in North Devon
- 3 Suspect remains in custody as Northam murder enquiry continues
- 4 Three more Covid deaths at North Devon District Hospital but cases are falling
- 5 Ram raid burglar jailed after rampaging crime spree
- 6 Developer 'lost for words' as town council rejects £20m Bideford wharf plans
- 7 Murder enquiry launched at Northam after death of elderly woman
- 8 Terrified shoppers fled Devon city centre attack
- 9 Sextortion warning for North Devon Facebook users
- 10 Covid-19: Follow the spirit of lockdown says police chief
Chanel said the support shown on the day had been ‘amazing’. She said: “BLM written on Capstone would have been able to show peoples’ support while they were at home.
“There were a lot of racist comments (on the post) but there were so many more supportive comments from around the community, which is amazing and really shows we stand together.”
She said she was surprised at the numbers turning out in a pandemic but said people were observing the rules and social distancing.
Buddy was also pleased with the turn out. He said: “A lot of people were saying there’s not a problem in North Devon but if there’s this many people here there’s that many people against racism.
“I am not surprised at the turn out here because I know a lot of people that are aware, but I was surprised by the amount of racism publicly on the community Facebook page.
“There is a problem in Devon and being ignorant and not standing up to it only makes the issue bigger.”