Around 300 protesters attended an anti-racism demonstration at Caerphilly Castle on Saturday, June 6.
The protest was one of a number of anti-racism protests held across the UK and the United States, following the death of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Mr Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck as he pleaded for breath. The incident was filmed and went viral, sparking protests and civil unrest across the Atlantic.
Jamaine Brown, one of the organisers of the Caerphilly protest, said she has received positive feedback and messages of support following the protest.
Concerns had been raised on social media about the protest going ahead given the coronavirus pandemic, with Gwent’s police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert encouraging residents not to attend the protest.
Mr Cuthbert had called on would-be protesters to “think of other ways of registering their protest”, but said “the anger people around the world are feeling following the death of George Floyd is understandable”.
Speaking about Mr Floyd’s death, Mr Cuthbert said: “The job of the police anywhere in the world is to protect and serve their communities. On this occasion there has been a serious failure and those responsible must be held to account.
“There has been a global outpouring of emotion following this incident and many people are incensed by it and rightly so.”
However, organisers had encouraged protesters to wear face masks and abide by social distancing measures. Organisers even brought their own face masks and hand sanitiser to give out to the protesters.
Ms Brown said the protesters had behaved positively during the protest, which lasted around three hours, and had “proved the doubters wrong”.
During the event, protesters made speeches about racism, while a number of drivers in passing cars tooted their horns and shouted support towards protesters.
However, Ms Brown revealed that a small number of people in passing cars shouted racist comments towards protesters.
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A second anti-racism protest is set to be held at the castle on Saturday, June 20 at 2pm.
Inspector Gavin Clifton of Gwent Police said: “I was at the protest to meet the organisers and I am pleased to report it was a peaceful protest.
“We had around 300 people attend. Social distancing was observed and those present were given masks by the organiser in the area the protest took place.
“As it came to a natural conclusion, the protesters and the organisers cleaned the area and ensured that no rubbish was left behind.
“No arrests nor warnings were issued to members of the public who attended.”
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