Black Lives Matter: Hundreds protest in Barry and Chepstow

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Protests were sparked following the death of George Floyd in the United States

Hundreds of people have marched through two towns in a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter.

More than 350 people gathered outside the town hall in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

Another protest in Chepstow saw about 200 people march from Dell Park, past Chepstow Castle to the riverfront, where they listened to speakers.

Protesters were asked by organisers to wear a face mask and respect social distancing.

Protests were sparked following the death of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old died in Minneapolis in May as a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The final moments were filmed on phones and four police officers involved have been sacked and charged over his death.

In Chepstow, some people "took the knee", while in Barry those who experienced racism were asked to form a line.

More on George Floyd's death

Organisers of the Barry protest, Stand Up to Racism Cardiff, said they were protesting in support of the Justice for George Floyd campaign.

Speakers included lawyer and activist Hilary Brown and Suresh Grover from the Stephen Lawrence Campaign.

At regular intervals Ms Brown led the crowd in chants of "no justice, no peace" and "whose lives matter? Black lives matter".

Earlier, Luis Williamson, 29, told the crowd how he had been subjected to racial abuse last week while he was jogging with his top off near Barry Island.

Someone in a passing car wound down their window and shouted racist insults at him, he said.

He told the crowd that not being racist is "not enough" and said people must be "vocally and visibly" anti-racist.

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Another speaker, Jamie Baker, told BBC Wales: "This is Barry and it never has events, it never has demonstrations, it never does this kind of thing.

"So to see young people - and the majority of our audience or young people - actually angry and annoyed and seeking change, that puts all of their parents, their grandparents, and everybody on notice."

Calling for schools and the local authority to better reflect the area's black history, he added: "And hopefully it'll put some schools on notice that what they're teaching is inaccurate."

Image caption,
Protesters gathered on King Square, Barry, to listen to speakers in support of Black Lives Matter

The two peaceful demonstrations have followed a number of similar events in towns and villages around Wales including Bridgend, Cardiff and Machynlleth.

On Thursday, about 1,000 people gathered in Newport in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Many carried placards bearing political slogans while others knelt on one knee - a protest against racism that stems from the US.

The demonstrators marched from the civic centre toward the University of South Wales building on the banks of the River Usk.