Avon and Somerset Police work with Black Lives Matter protest organisers despite 'technically' breaking lockdown rules

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see when protests are happening in your area

Police in the West Country have said they will cooperate with Black Lives Matter protesters - even though it 'technically' flouts coronavirus regulations.

Avon and Somerset Police is one of countless forces across the country who has pledged its support to fighting racial inequality, in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in America.

Mr Floyd's death has sparked protests all over the world, as well as every state in the US.

Bristol City Council lit up the City Hall in purple to show solidarity by taking part in the 'Blackout Tuesday' movement. Credit: Bristol City Council

Four police officers were sacked and have been arrested after a video of them using fatally excessive force on 46-year-old George Floyd went viral.

Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, and the other three people involved have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

The presence of protests during a global pandemic has been cause for criticism and concern, with many fearing they could lead to a second spike in cases.

Some businesses, especially those in the entertainment and music industry, closed on Tuesday 2 June and dedicated their social media pages to spreading information and resources.

The Glastonbury Festival was one of the big players taking part in the day.

The festival shared a black text box, with the words: "Music industry Black Out Tuesday - Due to recent events, please join us as we take an urgent step of action to promote accountability and change."

  • The Gloucestershire Fire Service has also shown their solidarity with the movement by taking a knee:

In a show of solidarity, police forces across the UK joined the pained voices of those speaking out against police brutality - saying in a statement that 'justice and accountability should follow' recent racially charged events in the US.

In a statement from Avon and Somerset Police speaking about the demonstration planned in Bristol on Sunday 7 June, Superintendent Andy Bennett said although protests are a breach of current restrictions, they are justified.

It’s important to stand up for fairness, equality and inclusion and we fully recognise the reasons why people will want to gather at College Green on Sunday.

Avon and Somerset Police
The last big protest in Bristol was during Greta Thuberg's visit in February, leading to concern that the city centre will draw the same numbers again and making social distancing impossible. Credit: PA

The demonstration event page has already had thousands of protesters say they will be attending, with Bristol City Council confirming they are looking into the details and working on a plan with police to cordon off streets.

The protest will start in College Green, before marching to Portland Square in St Pauls, and finishing up at Castle Park in the city centre.

Marches planned in the West Country:

  • SATURDAY, 6 JUNE: Bath, Green Park Station, 2pm

  • SUNDAY, 7 JUNE: Bristol, College Green, 2pm / Plymouth, Jigsaw Park, 2pm / Truro, Lemon Quay, 2pm

  • MONDAY, 8 JUNE: Cheltenham, Pitville Park, 2pm