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Hundreds of protesters aiming to ‘lock down’ Brixton march down London streets

Hundreds of protesters aiming to ‘lock down’ Brixton march down London streets

Former MEP Nigel Farage blasted today’s Afrikan Emancipation Day march through London, describing the event as ‘divisive’ as protesters dressed in paramilitary-style clothing took part in the event.  

Hundreds of demonstrators brought Brixton to a halt as they marched through London to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day. 

The coalition of action groups – led by Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide and the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations march committee  – took the drastic action to ‘make themselves heard’ in a bid for reparations from the UK government.

Among the groups of people marching were one group, dressed in black and equipped with what appeared to be anti-stab vests. One protester was wearing a balaclava, while another, angrily confronted police officers telling them to f*** off. 

The Metropolitan Police said three people have been arrested during this afternoon’s demonstration.  

Responding to the event, Mr Farage said: ‘Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets. This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.’ 

However, co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley responded to Mr Farage’s intervention. He tweeted: ‘You are just trying to create division. But these people in Brixton today know that love and justice will conquer the fear and hate that you peddle. Hope is what people need right now and they are showing the pathway toward it.’ 

Activists block Brixton Road as they march through London’s streets to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day despite restrictions

One of the protesters was wearing a balaclava. He was marching with a group of people stating FF Force attached to what appear to be anti-stab vests

Former MEP Nigel Farage described photographs of today’s demonstration in Brixton as ‘terrifying’ claiming a ‘paramilitary-style force marching in the streets’ 

Scotland Yard said one man was arrested on suspicion of affray, another on suspicion of assault on an emergency worker and a woman was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor in charge of the policing operation today said: ‘The gatherings today have been largely peaceful and we thank our communities for working with us to ensure the voices of the community could be heard safely and done so responsibly to ensure the safety of all.’ 

 According to Scotland Yard: ‘Officers have been present throughout the day working with the community organisers and speaking to those attending to allow for a successful day without anti-social behaviour or violence, resulting in just three arrests made.

‘Conditions had been imposed on the demonstrations. These included for attendees to congregate in three specific areas within Brixton and for the demonstrations to conclude at 20:00hrs. 

‘These conditions were authorised following intelligence that some attendees had intended to block the A23 – the primary road running through Brixton. This would have caused significant disruption to those local residents and surrounding areas.’ 

All three remain in police custody. 

The march was led by Iman, the Forever Family Force and the Slow Boys, on motorbikes as it made its way through Brixton

The demonstrators joined hundreds of others marking Afrikan Emancipation Day in Windrush Square, Brixton this afternoon

A large police presence surrounded the protesters who marched through the centre of Brixton this afternoon 

One female protester wearing combat fatigues, a FF Force top and beret was seen on video confronting several police officers. She warned one officer against pushing her.

Who are Forever Family? 

One of the group participating in today’s demonstration was Forever Family. Several members of the group marched wearing anti-stab vests.

According to the group’s social media announcements: ‘We are forever family united in building a self sufficient and stable community.

‘Creating a hub and avenues for funding, business start-ups, grants and investing. We believe in putting back in using all our experience and resources to deliver results.

‘We value the safety of our senior and junior generation. Their voices will be the motivation in what we stand for.’

Several police in the area were dealing with members of the public while a couple of officers appeared to be making an arrest.

The woman approached the police van and was blocked by several officers who were protecting the back of the vehicle.

Anyone approaching the police was pushed back. Several of the protesters were filming the incident.

One of the protesters tried to start a chant ‘no justice, no peace’ and then launched an expletive-laden rant accusing the police of being racist.

Other groups involved included the Forever Family Force and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners. 

A number of demonstrators temporarily blocked Brixton Road at the junction with Acre Lane, forcing cars and buses to stop and turn around.

Protesters, including some from Extinction Rebellion, occupied the middle of the junction until they were told to get back on to the curb by police officers.

Three people – holding signs saying ‘mask up’ and wearing visors – handed out face masks and hand sanitiser to those attending.

The main group, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, want the government to create an All-Party Parliamentary Commission for Truth and Reparatory Justice. 

Crowds of people listened to music in Windrush Square – where the event began – watched speeches and observed a three-minute silence to mark the event, which is in its seventh year. 

A coalition of groups were involved in the event on Saturday, including Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations march committee and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners.

The Rhodes Must Fall campaigners want the statute of colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College in Oxford. 

While Rhodes was not involved in the slave trade he exploited black Africans working in his diamond mines and believed in the supremacy of the English.  

Protesters, floats with speakers and people on motorbikes spilled out onto Brixton Road shortly before 4pm and began to march to nearby Max Roach Park.

Groups of protesters carried home made signs calling for action on ongoing racial violence 

Among the groups protesting in Brixton today were these motorcyclists riding varying styles of  high-powered machines

Protesters supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee

Protestors blocked the main road running through Brixton, saying they took drastic action ‘to make themselves heard’

The Metropolitan Police began dispersing crowds from the Brixton demonstration at 8pm 

Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March 

The annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is part of a campaign calling for the UK to make amends for the enslavement endured by generations of African people.

The march this afternoon marks its seventh year as a means of drawing attention to their cause.

The event marks the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act, which came into force on 1 August 1834.

Campaigners argue that the millions of pounds in compensation paid to former slaveholders as a result of the Act, without similar recompense for freed slaveholders, cemented and increased racial injustices that are still felt today.  

Protesters then began marching down Brixton Road towards Max Roach Park, blocking the road and stopping traffic.

The event marks the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act, which came into force on 1 August 1834.

Campaigners argue that the millions of pounds in compensation paid to former slaveholders as a result of the Act, without similar recompense for freed slaveholders, cemented and increased racial injustices that are still felt today.

Antoinette Harrison, who lives in nearby Clapham, attended the event to march with her cousin and her cousin’s children.

On why she joined the event, the 38-year-old said: ‘We are tired.

‘And I was just saying, our parents have gone through, we’re going through this, and I don’t want our next generation to. It’s got to come to an end.’

She added: ‘What’s lovely about it is there’s such unity.

‘It’s not just the one race, like it was back in the day, now it’s whites, blacks, Hispanics – everyone.’

Asked if she had any concerns about coronavirus while attending, Ms Harrison, who has been protesting since earlier in the summer, said: ‘This is a pandemic – racism and not having justice.’

The protesters aimed to lock down Brixton because ‘WE/they are not being HEARD’ in their demand for the UK Government to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice.

The event aimed to promote the necessity of stopping the genocide and ecocide of African people and their environments, Extinction Rebellion activists said. 

A curfew and other restrictions had been imposed on the planned demonstrations to stop people blocking main roads or planning illegal music events, Scotland Yard has said.  

 The Metropolitan Police on Friday said that blocking the road will cause ‘serious disruption’ to Brixton and the surrounding area because it is used by hundreds of bus routes and thousands of motorists.

It said that it is imposing a number of conditions on the demonstrations within areas such as Windrush Square, Max Roach Park and outside Brixton Police Station. They must not spill into nearby roads and they must finish by 8pm.

The force said that the time limit was set so that officers could separate those attending the demonstrations from people attending other gatherings or unlicensed music events.

Demonstrators brought Brixton to a halt and are urging the government to establish an inquiry for truth and reparatory justice

A man takes part in the seventh annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March in Brixton this afternoon

Stop the Maangamizi is one of the organisations dedicated to bringing about reparations on the day slavery was abolished

Police were on scene as demonstrators marched through Brixton this afternoon to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

Protestors brought Brixton to a halt on Afrikan Emancipation Day despite police restrictions imposed ahead of the event

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, speaking ahead of the event today, said: ‘The decision to impose conditions on an assembly is never taken lightly and is made following a vigorous assessment of the information available to us.

‘We have no intention of infringing upon a responsibly-organised community event.

‘We only require that this is done in a way that makes use of Brixton’s open spaces and leaves the main road through Brixton open to other Londoners.

‘In recent weeks we have policed a number of UMEs (unlicensed music events) in which loud music is played at night, disrupting local residents and posing a real threat both to property and the officers who attend to disperse them.

‘We received information that there are those intending to come to Brixton on Saturday to purposely cause disruption, and to confront police officers.

‘This is in stark contrast to the feel of the events that will take place earlier in the day and is in opposition to the wishes of the local community.’

The Yard added that gatherings of more than 30 people will be in breach of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Restrictions and its decision to impose conditions did not mean the assembly in breach of these regulations was authorised by police.

People were on hand to issue masks and hand gel to those in attendance as people seemingly breached social distancing

The march was carried out a coalition of organisations who joined to raise awareness of the cause for reparations

The Metropolitan Police said they worked with the local community to allow them to express their right to protest

Motorcyclists supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee take part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London, this afternoon

An Extinction Rebellion protester supporting the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee takes part in a march from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park in Brixton, London

Demonstrators praised the unity of the march as different groups came together to march for Afrikan Emancipation Day

Demonstrators gathered in Windrush Square, in Brixton, before marching through the streets with signs and banners

Police had imposed restrictions and a curfew ahead of the event over fears the demonstration would cause severe disruption

Several speeches were delivered to the crowd in support of the campaign and promoting Afrikan Emancipation Day 

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that today’s event passed off peacefully with three people arrested 

Who are Stop the Maangamizi: We charge genocide/ecocide

The group are campaigning for the government to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission for Truth & Reparatory Justice on Britain’s history of slavery. 

The term Maangamizi, is a Swahili word for Holocaust, according to  Professor Maulana Karenga.  

As well as raising awareness of Britain’s colonial past, the group claim that black people in the UK still suffer significant discrimination and face economic deprivation and a lack of opportunity. 

The group believes that Britain became a wealthy society having exploited African people and claim that their ancestors should receive restitution.    

Protesters claim descendants of slaves in Britain should receive reparations for their ancestors’ suffering 

Who was Cecil Rhodes and why is he so controversial?

Cecil Rhodes, pictured, who died in 1902, was the founder of the De Beers diamond company who was accused of exploiting his black miners. He was also a proponent of racial segregation which led to the Apartheid strategy in South Africa

Cecil Rhodes was born in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire in 1853. He was the son of a vicar. 

Rhodes left England in 1870 for South Africa to work on his brother’s cotton farm. Though he later moved into the diamond business – co-founding De Beers – which at one stage controlled more than 90 per cent of the world’s supply. 

The tycoon had wanted to build a railway from Cairo to Cape Town in order to colonise much of the continent of Africa.  

He had even plans to bring the United States back under Crown control. 

It wasn’t until the 1880s that he attended Oriel College, Oxford, which he left a substantial fund upon his death in 1902. 

He was supported by Queen Victoria in expanding British territory in southern Africa, colonising Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia – now Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

He once claimed: ‘Why should we not form a secret society with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?’

 He was the Prime Minister of Cape Colony – now South Africa – between 1890 and 1896 and is credited with creating the conditions for the second Boer War. 

In 1895, Rhodes sent British troops into Transvaal, which was an independent Republic, in order to overthrow it’s prime minister Paul Kruger and seize the area’s gold mines. 

The Jameson Raid failed miserably.  

Though, the battle over gold rights in the region led to war in 1899, which lasted for more than three years. 

British troops operated a scorched earth policy, burning farms and placing women and children into concentration camps where thousands died. 

Some 500,000 troops – including soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada were involved in the conflict. 

The conflict claimed the lives of 25,000 Afrikaners – many of them in concentration camps. 

Some 22,000 British troops as well as a further 12,000 Africans died in the conflict.     

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