Anti-racism protesters take the knee outside Sheffield Town Hall

Around 70 anti-racism protesters took the knee outside Sheffield Town Hall on Friday to mark the next hearing in the George Floyd murder trial and oppose “racist” policing in the UK.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 6:57 pm
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 6:59 pm
One banner on display at the demonstration read 'Racism is a global pandemic'.

A diverse group wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance knelt peacefully for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the same amount of time police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old Floyd’s neck before he died.

The demonstration was organised by Take The Knee Sheffield alongside Stand Up To Racism as part of a national day of action.

Yasmin Plews of Take The Knee Sheffield addressed the crowd from the Town Hall steps. She said: “What happened to George Floyd was not in our country, but the scars of racism in Britain today are very real. We all need to ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions.

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Demonstrators took the knee outside Sheffield Town Hall on Friday evening.

"Like, if George Floyd was a white man, would the filming of his death be broadcast on Breakfast TV?”

Mr Chauvin, 44, has been charged with murder, with three other officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. A trial is scheduled for March 2021.

The officers, who have all since been sacked, were due to appear in court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

The speech continued: “To deny the existence of this oppression is to deny a voice to those who have suffered and are still suffering.

ince June, Take The Knee have met every Wednesday at different locations across the city to kneel peacefully for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The group gathered outside Endcliffe Park on Thursday.

"We have a collective responsibility to push back against volatile attacks on black and ethnic minorities in Britain, even when they are coming from our own Government [...] we strive for equality for all.”

One banner on display at the demonstration read ‘Racism is a global pandemic’.

Take The Knee Sheffield was set up by Yasmin alongside Nicola Newman, both of whom are from the city. Since June, the group has met every Wednesday at different locations across Sheffield to kneel peacefully for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

On Wednesday (9 September), around 40 people took the knee outside Endcliffe Park. The group have also knelt in other busy locations around the city, such as Sheffield Train Station and Abbeydale Road.

You can find out more about Take The Knee Sheffield on their Facebook and Instagram pages – Take The Knee - TTK and @ttksheff.