Hundreds of people stage 'All Lives Matter' protest near Cenotaph in Bristol

Credit: Ben Bloch

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bristol city centre as part of a 'All Lives Matter' protest, saying they are there to 'defend the cenotaph'.

Protesters are seen holding signs with 'Not Far Right' and ''All Lives Matter' on them.

They have all congregated around the cenotaph which was erected in 1932.

Protesters seen standing on plinth where the statue of Edward Colston used to be Credit: Jordan Thomas

There has been a large police presence in the city centre with people reporting on social media that officers have now created a 'closed cordon' around the group.

It comes as the Metropolitan Police in London have warned protesters in they must be off the streets by 5pm on Saturday.

Organisers of one demonstration planned for Saturday cancelled the event over fears of conflict with far-right protesters, but police think thousands of people will still attend.

In Bristol last weekend (Sunday 7 June) the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city. Credit: PA

In Bristol, on Sunday 7 June, the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city.

It was then rolled to the harbour before being thrown in the water.

The statue which has since been recovered, was then cleaned by staff from a Bristol Museum.

More than 60 other statues are now listed as targets on a website called Topple the Racists.

Also this week, a statue to a Jamaican playwright and actor in Bristol was attacked with bleach.

The bronze bust of Alfred Fagon, which stands in the park at the corner of Grosvenor Road in St Pauls, was tampered with overnight between Tuesday 9 June to Wednesday 10 June.

Police are investigating the attack, which appears to have involved bleach or another corrosive substance.

Police are investigating the attack, which appears to have involved bleach or another corrosive substance. Credit: Bristol Live

On Friday 12 June, the Prime Minister expressed his dismay at the growing focus on removing statues in the wake of the toppling of slave-trader Edward Colston.

More than 60 other statues are now listed as targets on a website called Topple the Racists.

The Prime Minister said to take statues down would “be to lie about our history”.

Boris Johnson, in a series of social media posts, said: “We cannot pretend to have a different history.

“Those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults.”

Avon and Somerset statement on Bristol's 'All Lives Matter' protest:

We’re aware of the ongoing protest taking place at the Cenotaph in Bristol city centre today.

Avon and Somerset Police