Organisers of anti-racism protests in the UK have accused the police of unfairly targeting black people during the lockdown and called for further demonstrations this week.
Protests took place in London, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham on Saturday and Sunday against the killing last week of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota, which has led to widespread unrest across the US.
As well as showing solidarity with demonstrators in the US, Britons have expressed anger and frustration at the increased use of stop and search during the lockdown in areas with large black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations.
BAME people in England were 54 percent more likely to be fined under coronavirus rules than white people.
British demonstrations were called spontaneously by young black people who are not affiliated with any organisations. They said they wanted to shine a spotlight on the impact of institutional racism in the UK.
During the protests, the rallying cry that “the UK is not innocent” was accompanied by Black Lives Matter banners.
A police source said a single incident such as video circulating on social media of alleged police heavy-handedness could be the spark for trouble and described the atmosphere as tinder dry: “I worry about the effect over here of what’s going on in the US. One incident, and it could kick off.”
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