Black Lives Matter: West Midlands protests 'passionate but peaceful'

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Worcester protesters
Image caption,
Reporters at the socially-distanced protest described it as "passionate but peaceful"

Hundreds of people have taken part in anti-racism demonstrations across the West Midlands.

Campaigners gathered in Worcester, Stafford, Stourbridge and elsewhere to support Black Lives Matter.

In Worcester, campaigners gathered at the racecourse while an event dubbed "Stand and Protect" gathered around the city's war memorials.

The Black Lives Matter campaign was sparked by the death of George Floyd in US police custody.

Image caption,
Hundreds 'took the knee' to show their respect to George Floyd, killed in the US in May

In Worcester, the socially distanced rally was described as "passionate but peaceful" as protesters knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time a police officer spent kneeling on George Floyd's neck.

Speaker Darian Murray-Griffiths said: "What we are asking is that people are coming together, people are realising that there are certain things we don't pick up on, but which mean so much to people who don't speak about it.

"You have to sometimes stand up and be counted and I'm determined to do that."

Protests in England

The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev Dr John Inge, also "took the knee".

"It is a matter of huge regret that here we are in the early 21st century and there is still an awful lot of racism around and indeed slavery," he said.

Image caption,
Dozens gathered at the war memorials to protect them from potential damage

Meanwhile, at the city's war memorials, dozens more gathered.

Organiser Darren Greenwood said he had nothing against the Black Lives Matter movement but wanted to make sure the memorial and statues were protected.