Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 14 June 2020
HUNDREDS of Nuneaton residents attended a peaceful protest today for the Black Lives Matter movement which started outside of the Nuneaton Bus Station on Harefield Road.
The event was organised by the local community group Black Lives Matter: Nuneaton, Bedworth and Bulkington.
The anti-racism event was organised in memory of 46-year-old Minneapolis-man George Floyd. White police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck as he was on the ground, ultimately killing him.
Former U.S. police officer, Chauvin, has since been charged with second-degree murder following the death of Floyd.
The peaceful protest started at 3pm, where protesters peacefully protested outside of Nuneaton Bus Station on Harefield Road, whilst others in attendance for the event protested inside of Riversley Park.
Police officers gathered around the statue of George Eliot on Market Place to create a cordon to protect the statue.
Meanwhile, over in Riversley Park, another group of police officers stood around protecting and guarding the four other statues located inside of the Park.
Statues were being protected at the event in the town centre, as some statues in other towns have been taken down by protesters and governments in light of the Black Lives Matter events.
This is due to the history behind the people that the statues were erected in the name of, such as Edward Colston and Robert Milligan’s statues. Over in London, Winston Churchill’s statue has been boarded up ahead of protests.
Attendees comments on the event
Nuneaton resident, Chloe Reubens, who attended the event this afternoon spoke to the Hinckley Free Press.
Chloe said: “Everything was great, it was lovely to see such support from the community. It was nice to see everyone from different backgrounds united as a front.
“It was a shame that anti-protestors felt the need to make remarks, but it didn’t stop anyone participating. Today I really felt a sense of pride in Nuneaton, it allowed us to realise nobody is alone.
“Nobody should feel targeted because of their ethnicity. Be proud to be who you are. We are ALL human. Nobody should have to live in a world where they are constantly degraded, beaten and killed for WHO THEY ARE.
“I may be white, but all races have always been welcomed and loved by me, and that will NEVER change.
“Racism can only be beat through education, love, and spread of word and I think today did just that.”
Oliver Tomkinson was in attendance, but he felt that the event was ‘short and anti-climactic.’
Oliver said: “The protest was quite short and anticlimactic, the thing that ruined it the most was the EDL in Riversley Park hurling abuse at us as we were walking through. It was quite upsetting to be honest.”
Mia Scott attended and took part in the peaceful protest in the town this afternoon. Mia said: “I was really happy with the turnout. There were lots more people than I expected.
“Many people had bought amazing signs and they were really being passionate about the cause.
“I’d say it was a really successful event that’s restored some of my faith in Nuneaton people.”
Abuse at protesters from an alleged ‘EDL-aligned group’
Nuneaton resident, Mollie Grant, took to her Facebook profile to explain about the group of people who tried to ruin the peaceful protest.
Mollie said: “The event was ruined by ‘an EDL-aligned group’ of white men and women who shouted nonstop abuse at protesters and took to the streets to cause chaos.
“They said they were “protecting a monument” but as myself and some friends peacefully walked past, they shouted extremely vile things at us. Some parts were sexual and downright sickening, and others just unnecessarily violent and rude.
“They had no business being there, the police were there to “protect” and we had no intention to damage any property regardless.”