Hundreds attend Newcastle Black Lives Matter protests despite government warnings

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Newcastle today, in a peaceful anti-racism protest. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More than three hundred protestors have staged an anti-racism demonstration in Newcastle, despite warnings from ministers that mass gatherings are banned.

Worldwide protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have entered a second weekend amid public anger at police over his death.

A separate protest, 'Newcastle Upon Tyne Supports Black Lives Matter', was moved online because of concerns over social distancing.

More than three thousand people have watched the event, which was streamed live over Facebook.

Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP for Newcastle Central, spoke alongside representatives of 'Newcastle Unites' and Stand Up to Racism.

In a statement, she said: "We stand - and kneel - in solidarity with those struggling against racism and for justice. Peaceful protests show our values & our unity."

"We have to make sure that this isn’t just another protest that is forgotten and things go back to the way they are in a month or a year, we need real change."

In the city centre, many of the marchers wore face masks and held placards bearing the 'Black Lives Matter' slogan.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel urged protestors not to gather in groups larger than six, "for the safety of all of us".

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Mr Hancock admitted said he was "appalled" by Mr Floyd's death at the hands of a police officer, but stressed "it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease".