Bristolians encouraged to take the knee in solidarity

Bristol residents are being encouraged by the mayor to make their voices heard this weekend by kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

People across Bristol are being urged to kneel on their doorstop and post a selfie to social media with the hashtags #TakeTheKnee and #BristolTakeTheKnee.

Protesters have previously held a two-minute silence and marched through Bristol as people across the world take action in protest at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and racial injustice.

Mr Floyd died on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin held him down by pressing his knee into his neck.

Around 4,000 people also plan to take part in a larger demonstration on Sunday (June 7), which will start on College Green at 1pm before a march to Portland Square in St Pauls.

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The Take The Knee initiative, being promoted by Bristol City Council, is now offering residents another way to show their support for the global campaign and to stand in solidarity with the movement through social media.

Mayor Marvin Rees  said: “I would love to see communities across Bristol taking the knee in support and sharing their pictures across social media.

“The world is watching, and despite the continuing need to maintain social distancing in our fight against Covid-19, we have an opportunity to let the world know Bristol stands against racism, inequality and intolerance.

You can find out more about Sunday’s protest here.

“We have already co-signed a letter with the UK Core Cities to the Association of African American Mayors in which we shared our concerns and offered our support on race inequality.

“Closer to home, I have also joined campaigners urging the UK government to tackle race inequalities after the high Covid death toll on BAME communities.

“This weekend, people in Bristol can join their efforts to the national and international voice we have been raising”.

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Residents are encouraged to share their images using the hashtags #BristolTakeTheKnee and #taketheknee to add to the tens of millions of people already taking to social media to show their support.

Marvin Rees previously described seeing a man give a Nazi salute as the mayor  knelt on one knee in memory of George Floyd  outside City Hall on Wednesday (June 3).

Mr Rees said he witnessed the man give the salute and shout ‘Sieg Heil’ as he and others took part in the stand for racial equality.

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