“NO justice, no peace,” was the message sent out to around 300 people who gathered for a Black Lives Matter demonstration in King Square, Barry.

The two-and-a-half-hour protest, organised by Stand Up To Racism Cardiff, on Saturday, June 13, was in support of the Justice for George Floyd campaign.

The George Floyd activism protests were sparked by the death of Minnesota man, Mr Floyd who was detained and killed after attempting to buy cigarettes.

A 17-year-old shop worker had suspected him of using a forged $20 note.

Four police officers were arrested and charged.

Three were charged with aiding and abetting murder and ex-officer, Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder.


Black Lives Matter Demo set for Barry town centre

Racism activist and lawyer, Hilary Brown led the crowd with chants - some of which also included “whose lives matter? Black lives matter.”

Ms Brown introduced a range of speakers – two of whom were Barry lawyer, Luis Williamson, 29, and “Barry grandfather” James Baker.

Others taking to the microphone to address the crowd were Cammilla Mngaza from the #FreeSiyanda campaign; Suresh Grover, the monitoring group (head of the Stephen Lawrence Campaign); Rhoose resident and racism activist Belinda Loveluck-Edwards; race historian, Gaynor Legall; and Hussein Said, of Stand Up To Racism Cardiff & The Vale.

Members of public, who had experienced racism in the Vale, were invited to share their stories.

Education worker, Alice Hortop, of Barry, joined people at the demonstration.

She said: “I think everyone should have equal rights and I think the things that have been happening all over the world, particularly in America are disgusting.

“And there's things like the attainment gap in universities.

“I work in a university and we are trying hard to redress it, but everyone needs to do more.

“I think it’s a really important issue and while covid is a pandemic at the moment, this is also a really important issue.

“With social distancing we can still protest peacefully.

“There is so much to be done.

“In every area there’s inequalities.

“There needs to be more education and more attempts really.”

The first black councillor elected in Wales was in Barry - Gwyneth Payne in 1972.

Abdulrahim Abby Farah, lived in Thompson Street Barry.

“He was a second-generation Somalian – a UN diplomat who ended up helping to free Nelson Mandela,” Ms Brown said.

“Where the plaque to commemorate?

“Let me give you an example of white privilege.

“Her name was (Cllr) Margaret Alexander.

“She was amazing.

“She was a white woman, she was a friend of mine, she was a comrade, she was a colleague, and sadly she died.

“Within no time at all there was a community centre renamed after Margaret Alexander.

“Where is the Gwyneth Payne community centre named after her?

“Another example of white privilege.

“The sad thing is If Margaret Alexander was here, she’d be demanding Gwyneth be recognised for her contribution to politics from a black perspective.”

Ms Brown said the Vale of Glamorgan and Barry Town councils had not been pro-active in their responses to the ‘Take The Knee’ campaign, held every Wednesday, and had only responded last minute.

Mr Williamson, a former St Richard Gwyn pupil, shared his experience of racism.

He said: “Last week I was jogging on the Island Road and I was subject to racial abuse from a passing car when I was running with my top off.

“It’s something that’s very real in Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan.

“Silence on this issue is the problem.

“You need to be visually and vocally anti-racist.

“The message is loud and clear that black lives matter.”

Following the demo, Ms Brown said: “I really want to thank the people who stood in solidarity with us today in the face of adversity against racism, fascism, and all forms of oppression.

“I’m so happy that this took place.

“I believe Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan has finally woken up to the problems that it has and I’ve seen a real commitment to put things right and I thank the people of Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan.”

Police positioned themselves near the Civic Offices and Merchant Seamen’s Memorial, in Holton Road, and in Gladstone Road, near the cenotaph.

The demo was peaceful and social distancing reminders were issued throughout the event.