Police have urged Black Lives Matter campaigners to support the cause in ‘alternative ways’ ahead of a planned protest in a Staffordshire town centre.
A peaceful demonstration is expected to take place in Stafford’s Market Square this coming Saturday, with organisers asking those thinking of attending to observe social distancing and wear face masks at all times.
Rallies and protests have been sparked worldwide following the killing of black man George Floyd by a U.S. police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last month.
The Stafford protest comes a little more than a week after hundreds of people descended on Hanley Park in Stoke-on-Trent for a peaceful demonstration.
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A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said the force respects the public’s right to lawful, but issued a reminder that restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus were still in place.
She said: “We know people want to make their voices heard and the right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy, but coronavirus remains a deadly disease.
“There are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread, which include not gathering outside in groups of more than six people.
“Some protests have taken place locally and these have been peaceful with social distancing being observed by the majority for which we thank people.
“However, we encourage people to consider alternative ways of showing solidarity with Black Lives Matter other than gathering on the streets, which carries a risk of spreading the virus to family and friends.”
The demonstration in Stafford is described as a static protest against police brutality and racial injustice and is taking place from 2pm.