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Schoolgirl gets support for her Black Lives Matter protest in Ashford after death of George Floyd in America


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A schoolgirl, who has experienced racism, has held her own protest to show her feelings at the death in the US of a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Tanisha Wynter, 17, has been on the streets of Ashford this afternoon with banners bearing the 'Black Lives Matter' slogan.

Tanisha Wynter takes to the streets of Ashford Picture: Taya Mariie
Tanisha Wynter takes to the streets of Ashford Picture: Taya Mariie

The same chant has been heard on the streets of London today after hundreds of activists held a mass campaign in memory of George Floyd.

The London protest also raised issues of alleged police brutality in the UK and comes after five days of action in America after Mr Floyd died after being arrested outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As he was pinned to the floor, he could be heard saying 'I can't breathe,' and an officer in the US has since been charged with murder and sacked.

But with concerns over social distancing at the London event, Tanisha decided to hold her own day of action in Brookfield Road, near to her Beaver Road home. Drivers tooted their support as they went by.

The John Wallis Academy pupil said: "I saw what was going to happen in London and I didn't feel it was right to go there and sit on public transport in the middle of lockdown.

The protest held in London Picture: Mina Almaas
The protest held in London Picture: Mina Almaas

"So I decided I would do my own protest and made up the signs and put it on Facebook. The reaction has been amazing."

Speaking of the issues she has faced, Tanisha, who will study mental health nursing, said: "I think in comparison with America, Britain is seen as better, but there is still covert racism.

"My dad's side of the family is black and so are several people I work with. At our last Christmas party, it was them the police pulled over saying they looked a bit suspicious. I know this could happen to anyone, but there are statistics showing it is more likely to happen to a black person.

"When it comes to jobs, the top positions are always held by white people. I don't begrudge anybody anything, but I would just like to see some equality."

Her mum, Kim Revelle, said: "Tanisha is mixed race, but she will tell anyone 'I am black.' When that horrific footage emerged of George Floyd she wanted to do something to help and she wants things to change.

Tanisha Wynter's protest Picture: Taya Mariie
Tanisha Wynter's protest Picture: Taya Mariie

"She is such a positive person I think she forgets some of the things which have happened. When she was eight-years-old, we were walking along the street and someone threw a banana skin at her and told her to 'go home.'"

The London event saw people gather in Trafalgar Square, before marching to the US Embassy south of the Thames.

Met Police said five people, between 17-25, were arrested -three were for breaches of Covid legislation and two were for attacking police.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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