Kent Students attend Black Lives Matter protests in Canterbury

Image Courtesy of: Aslan Ntumba

Two separate Black Lives Matter protests took place in Canterbury last week.

The protests, which took place in Canterbury, were in response to the tragic murder of George Floyd in the United States by Minneapolis Police and raising awareness for similar racial profiling and police brutality in the United Kingdom.

Kent Union President Sasha Langeveldt said: “It was extraordinary.”

“You could feel the passion and determination in people’s voices as students took over the streets of Canterbury.”

Both demonstrations were held on Saturdays and started in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury.

The first protest, organised by BLMKent, was attended by University of Kent students and the Union President.

Its organisers, Stephen Kamara (Kent Union’s BAME Network Chair), Tobechukwu Obiekwugo and Kundai Chikosi, led students across the city in solidarity with protests happening in cities across the country.

The event also included several key talks from Canterbury residents and students.

One organiser shared his experience of being detained for six hours after being unjustly accused of theft, the day before his first GCSE exam.

A man also attending the protest spoke on racism that he and his brother experienced at an airport when entering the UK.

He explained that Border Control asked where they were ‘really’ arriving from, after first not hearing the answer they wanted.

Once telling Border Control their outbound starting point was Africa, they were unfairly accused of drug smuggling, stopped and searched.

The second demonstration, which took place exactly one week after the June 6th protests, was organised by the wider Canterbury Community.

Sasha Langeveldt was also in attendance and gave a short talk at the event.

The response from Kent Union and the University has been in support of the demonstrations taking place in Canterbury and across the country.

In a statement released online, Kent Union said: “As institutions we must do better and, at the most senior level, are committed to working with our staff and students to actively tackle racism on our campuses and in our wider community.”

See below for InQuire's Image Gallery of the protests:

All Images courtesy of Aslan Ntumba

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