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Hundreds gather in London to protest against killing of two black men in US

Published 10/07/2016

Hundreds of demonstrators protest in Windrush Square in Brixton against the killing of two black men in the United States
Hundreds of demonstrators protest in Windrush Square in Brixton against the killing of two black men in the United States

Hundreds of demonstrators have protested in London against the killing of two black men in the United States.

Roads running through Brixton were brought to a standstill for more than six hours as a crowd chanting "black lives matter" and "hands up, don't shoot" took to the streets on Saturday.

The crowd of approximately 300 people gathered in Windrush Square at around 5pm before marching to the nearby police station, and then through neighbouring streets.

It followed a protest in central London on Friday after the shooting of black men by US police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St Paul, Minnesota. Those deaths were followed by the reprisal shooting of five officers in Dallas, Texas.

Demonstrators brought traffic to a halt by staging a sit-down protest in the middle of Brixton High Street.

Police stayed back from the crowd who chanted "racist police, off our streets".

On several occasions cars attempted to squeeze through the throng of demonstrators but quickly became surrounded by the crowds who demanded they stop. Police would then attempt to separate the vehicle and the crowd, causing confrontations.

Some protesters cheered as one man shouted through a loudspeaker "we have locked down Brixton".

Despite a few pockets of tension, the protest remained largely peaceful.

Police said one man, believed to have been a passenger on a bus, was ushered away after becoming involved in an altercation.

One man, Vincent Lee, 37, and his partner Jessica Osibona came to the march as a mark of solidarity of the events in the US over the past week.

Mr Lee said: "It is a mess. Predominantly it is happening in America with their gun laws but we came down to show we are united with them."

Ms Osibona said she felt "compelled" to join the protest having followed the Black Lives Matter movement over the past year.

She said: "I was looking for some kind of inspiration as to what we can do collectively."

One bus - seemingly abandoned by its driver - was boarded by a group of protesters who begun singing rapper Kendrick Lamar's song Alright - a track which has been associated with the Black Lives movement in the US.

Another bus driver said TfL buses through Brixton had been re-routed.

He said he supported the protesters, adding "they've given me a three hour break".

As the light faded and the crowd thinned police made several attempts to clear the road.

However late night revellers joined the carnival atmosphere after a man turned up with a portable sound system and the road remained partially blocked.

A Met police spokeswoman said: "At 19:25hrs on Saturday, 9 July, a man believed to be a passenger disembarked from a bus in Brixton Road and became involved in an altercation with a number of demonstrators.

"Officers attended and escorted the man away from the scene. He was not arrested.

"There were no other arrests in relation to the matter. There have been no arrests in relation to the demonstration."

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From Belfast Telegraph