Published: 14:18, 10 June 2020
| Updated: 17:39, 10 June 2020
A procession of people have marched through a town centre in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Scores of people took to the streets in Chatham this afternoon in response to raising awareness of racial discrimination.
KMTV reports on the march and calls to end the honouring of slavery and persecution in Medway
Chants including "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace" filled the streets after protestors set off from the town's library and marched through the high street and town centre roads.
Our reporter Sean McPolin has been with the group and said 150 people were so far involved in the march joined by five police officers monitoring the situation.
A range of ages and races were present and holding various signs and placards with slogans.
Some read “silence is violence” and another says “if you can shop at B&M you can march 4 BLM” while others have called for "justice for George".
Protesters had earlier been asking about maintaining social distancing and masks were handed out by organisers.
The demonstration continues through the town centre
Fejiro Okagbare, 20, holding a banner saying "if only our pain bothered as much as our protests" spoke to our reporter.
She said she felt "so great" to see the support turn out for her and friends and other black people in Kent.
"I didn't expect anything like this and it's been five organisers shared over Instagram stories and pages and from that the news has spread.
"It's an incredible amount of support.
"One of the main actions I want to see is the education system. I'm at university and a lot of our from year 7 to 11 has seen a colonisation of the curriculum.
"We've only been taught about the down moments of black British history – slavery and oppression. But there's so many upsides and we're not taught that.
"We're not taught about the true depth of Britain's involvement in slavery.
"To have a full understanding of British history that shouldn't be ignored and how white people have also led to the problems we see today to understand the solutions."
Organiser Elizabeth Bernasko, 20, from Rochester, addressed crowds about the death of George Floyd describing the scenes in the video which showed his final moments.
"If you see that video you will see how casually he was murdered. His life did not matter.
"Black lives have not mattered and have not mattered anywhere on this earth for a very long time.
"Race was constructed as a tool to commit genocide to steal and to strip black people of their humanity."
Elizabeth Bernasko, one of the organisers of the march, addresses the crowds gathered at Chatham Library before the march
"The British have tried to absolve themselves of responsibility but they began this. There is blood on this country's hands.
"The British have deluded themselves. Racism is not a somewhere else problem. It is right here, right now."
She said the gathering had been called because "we believe our voices matter and must be heard".
She added people can no longer "sit idly by" after black lives have been "stamped out".
"It's not good enough to do nothing so today we march, today we shout, today we make our voices known," Miss Bernasko told demonstrators.
"Slavery is a sin this country has not repented for and there will be no justice and no peace while the blood of black people run through the streets."
Cllr Siju Adeoye, Labour member for Chatham Central ward, gave a speech describing Medway as a "progressive" area.
"I'm happy to see not just black people out here protesting but all colours and all races to say that black lives do matter.
"Chatham Central elected [me as] the first black councillor so we have come a long way but we still have a long way to go."
She told crowds of her party's plans to table a motion to rename the John Hawkins car park and said "we need to do something" about the Lord Kitchener statue, which was met by cheers.
"We don't want statues to remind us of the horrendous past," Cllr Adeoye added. "Medway is a Royal Navy town and they have done more work to abolish slavery. I would rather have them remembered than somebody like John Hawkins or Kitchener.
"We want black history to be included in the curriculum in Medway schools.
"Our children need to know their history and if you fail to know history you don't know your future.
"Thank you for coming out in the rain to say black lives matter and thank you to the police officers."
The march took place without major incident but one man who attempted to remonstrate with protestors while the addresses were made was escorted away by police.
The peaceful protest set off from Chatham Library at 2pm with many people joining the march as it made its way through town.
Organisers say the event was organised due to a lack of awareness of racism and oppression of black people in the Towns.
Mikayla Adigun, 19, and her friends Toju Adelaja, 19, and Miss Bernasko set up the event.
Miss Adigun explained she believes the BLM movement should not just trickle out as a phase and said the UK had been far from innocent in dealing with widespread racism.
The march set off from the Sir John Hawkins car park in Chatham town centre - a location which has hit the spotlight this week.
Hawkins - a 16th century naval commander - was one of Britain's most prolific early slave traders.
A movement has been established calling on the car park to be renamed and the Labour Party in Medway says it plans to table a motion to drop Hawkins' name from the area.
Hawkins' links to Chatham date back to when he established a hospital for sick and elderly mariners in the town in 1594 along with Sir Francis Drake.
The town was home to one of the largest dockyards in the country during the Elizabethan age.
Today's march is the third in a week to be held in Medway - two were hosted at the Jackson's Fields in Rochester on Friday and Saturday while more than 100 people demonstrated in Chatham High Street on Saturday.