With a larger crowd than last weekend, the organisers of the second Black Lives Matter protest in Swanage say they believe it’s important to begin the international journey towards racial equality by starting in their hometown of Swanage.
The peaceful protest started with a march from the main beach car park and progressed down to Swanage Beach, next to the Mowlem.
Once on the beach, while adhering to social distancing guidelines and many wearing face masks, a number of people addressed the audience and spoke about their experience of racism.
Lewis Shepherd recites his poem about his experience of racism
Powerful poem by Lewis Shepherd
The crowd listened to a number of speakers including a powerful poem by Lewis Shepherd who eloquently expressed his anger at the way black people are portrayed in the media and the way they are sometimes treated by wider society in general.
In an extract from his poem, he asked:
“How do we change this?
Speak up, speak up when we are not around, when your friend wants to be the class clown and drop the n-word into a sentence.
Remember the penance that we have to pay for your ignorance.
Will you speak up, will YOU speak up?
This is not America’s problem, this is not just the UK’s problem, this is humanity’s problem, this is a human problem.”
We want to encourage people to educate themselves on these issues
In a joint statement, the organisers said:
“We decided to organise a peaceful demonstration in Swanage to highlight the issue of racism in small towns. Most of us went to school in Swanage and experienced discrimination that often stemmed from generations of racism. We want to encourage people to educate themselves on these issues and to help the international journey towards racial equality, starting in our hometown.”