Black Lives Matter protests have swept the world, and not just the big cities. Fraser Andrews reports on the 6 June protest in a relatively small town, Milton Keynes.
This was by far and away the most the most significant protest I’ve ever seen here in Milton Keynes.
I estimate up to 1,000 gathered — in a city of 250,000. That’s five times the size of any anti-austerity demonstration here at the peak of that movement. Lots of home-made signs. A mostly young crowd, mostly black and other people of colour. Little organised socialist presence.
As the “official” demonstration ended not long after 12.30, some people with a megaphone asked the crowd: “Do we want to march?”
Yes! The crowd made its way out of the station square and up the main boulevard, gradually gaining a more confident, militant form.
Initially everyone politely sidled up the footpaths, but then we moved into the centre of the road, bringing traffic to a standstill.
We marched to the city council building, and then around town to the police station. Protesters excitedly demand the police “take the knee” — which some did, to a great sense of victory among the crowd.
Generally it was peaceful. The exhilaration on some of these young people’s faces as they got a sense of their collective power was inspiring.