MORE than 600 people showed up for peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on the Rye in High Wycombe on Sunday.

The protest followed a similar demonstration in Marlow attended by 350 to 400 people the day before.

Both events were inspired by the death of George Floyd in the USA, which has sparked many anti-racist protests across the world, including in France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the UK.

The High Wycombe event attracted whole families who were able to enjoy the sunshine while listening to speakers sharing their own experiences of growing up with and experiencing racism in their schools or at the hands of police. One speaker revealed a staggering 130 unjust black deaths at the hands of police in the UK, while a senior mental health worker revealed the disproportionate numbers of black people diagnosed with mental health disorders.

Other speakers included Marlow and High Wycombe residents Kia Bing-Davies, Impact Coach; spiritual counsellor and author Sadia Hussain, who has over 20 years' experience of working within the private sector; local mother Dee Whitehouse; and Bilal “Blits” Seasay and Denz Moses Johnson, who shared their personal stories about being people of colour growing up and living in High Wycombe and Marlow.

There were also many positive stories of healing and beneficial sharing between Caribbean, African and Asian cultures, along with a reminder that removing the 'ism' from race underlines the fact we are all members of the same race — the human race.

Another positive take-away of the day was an agreement that more should be done to provide young people with correct education, with many attendees agreeing to help support the creation of youth clubs. It was agreed the BLM movement will carry on in a spirit of peaceful unity within the local black community and with other local groups.

Both the High Wycombe and Marlow BLM events were conducted in a socially distanced manner, with a clear call for mask-wearing and a three-metre distance marked by volunteer marshals to ensure everyone`s safety and security.