Thousands of people attended the #BlackLivesMatter peaceful march in Manchester on 11 July, as cities across the world echoed public outcries for justice for people of colour – particularly black people.
From poets, teachers, nurses, community leaders to business leaders, activists and members of the community converged at Alexandra Park in Moss Side with placards citing ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Sarah Reed #SayHerName’, ‘All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice No Peace’.
Organised in solidarity with justice and equality for black people, the rally came to fruition after two black men were killed by American police early July.
On 6 July Philando Castile died from gunshot wounds in his car after a white police officer shot him in his car in Minnesota. His partner, Diamond Reynolds live-streamed the incident on Facebook via her smartphone, as her partner sat next to her bleeding to death with the officer still pointing his gun at him.
Speaking in a televised interview to the BBC, Reynolds says she prays for black people who are unjustly killed by white police officers but she never imagined this would happen to her.
“I never ever thought that it would be me. Why me, why us, why did this police officer do this? Why won’t these laws change?”, she said.
Just 24-hours before Philando was killed, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was brutally shot dead by a white police officer after two officers wrestled him to the ground. One of the officers opened fire shortly after the other held a gun near point-blank range over Sterling’s chest.
Although most of the demonstrators in Manchester were young and black, the crowd was a mixture of all colours and ages. There were protestors in wheelchairs and buggies, whilst the kinds of marchers ranged from those with afros, dreadlocks, baseball caps and hijabs.
The march flowed through Hulme as it drew attention from drivers with beeps of approval from passers-by along Oxford Road towards Albert Square in Manchester City Centre.
Culminating in an electrifying atmosphere at Albert Square, one protestor told TNT, “the energy was unbelievable. Emotions were high and the community came out in force to stand in solidarity; remembering our fallen and unjustly killed people”.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri