Turnham Green Anti-racism Protest Passes Off Without Major Incident

Around 100 people estimated to have attended peaceful demonstration


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An estimated gathering of around 100 people attended an anti-racism demonstration on Turnham Green this Sunday (14 June).

They arranged themselves in a socially distanced line on the pavement by the railings on the park and at 1.30pm took a knee for 8 minutes and 40 seconds, the time that George Floyd was held down by a police officer before his death.

After that the names of some of those who lost their lives in the UK were also read out and honoured. This was followed by a minute's silence for those who died in the Grenfell fire of which the day was the third anniversary. Later that evening the bells of Christ Church on Turnham Green rang out 72 times for each of the people who died.

Those attending say that their protest received an overwhelmingly positive response from passers-by and drivers who honked in support.

There was only one confrontation reported. Organiser Anil Patel said, "I had a very good rapport with the police and community police officer and I asked if there was any official incidents and they said no. There were a few heated words by a very angry person in their 4x4 who stopped in the middle of the road to say to the crowd 'No Lives Matter' which was disturbing. At this point the crowd unified and chanted BLACK LIVES MATTER. The person in question was moved on by the police officers."

Anti-racism protestor with police officer on Turnham Green
Anti-racism protestor with police officer on Turnham Green. Picture: Anil Patel

Both the Mayor and the leader of Hounslow Council, Steve Curran, had urged people not to attended protests this weekend out of concern about far right counter-demonstrations. Black Lives Matter organisers cancelled a planned demonstration in Hyde Park on Saturday amid fears of a violent clash. In a joint statement from leader Steve Curran, deputy leader Lily Bath and Katherine Dunne reminded residents of the 22,500 vulnerable people in Hounslow who were forced to shield during the pandemic. However, it was added that if people did want to protest then they should do so in their local area rather than in central London where violence did break out.

Current government guidance is that there should not be gatherings of more than six people.

Organiser Anil Patel decided to proceed because he believed the family friendly event planned was unlikely to attract any counter protests or present any heath risk. There have been no reports of any incidents during the protest.

June 20, 2020

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