• Zachary Innes-Mulraine

Capturing that hope of a new beginning.

CAUTION, unsettling image and strong language.

Me and the Hubby James attended the Black Lives Matter safe and silent protest yesterday in Brighton, simply because we HAD to, if anything I have learned so far in 2020 is that we all should be trying to come out it as much better people. And for me after the initial shock of going into lock-down, I decided to better myself both mentally and physically. In my life I have been both a balloon and pancake with both forms being heavy dusted with anxiety so to the internet I went, chatting to mates asking advice, started Yoga, got hold of some résistance bands, signed up to the bike scheme and started exercising. At first, this was a bloody task as I can be a right spud and just sit about. I told myself that on those times that you are sitting about then educate yourself, so I have and will continue to. Through this blog, I have linked some excellent places where you can educate yourself. I think it’s vital going forward no matter your age and also how you can help, for example, this Trailer for the 13th (a documentary on #Netflix) is a must.

When we arrived at the Protest I was immediately taken aback by the chalk crosses on the ground two meters apart going down the entire stretch of Madeira Drive (anyone who lives here will know how long that road is) and at first I wasn’t quite sure why but it soon clicked what it was for, this excellent attempt at social distancing. Most people wearing masks and gloves, volunteers handing out water and hand sanitizer, and at 1 pm the protest begun with a ten-minute silence with either bended knee, a fist in the air, or just quiet contemplation.

Then after some important speeches, the crowd (reports of up to 15000 Daily mail) started to move onto the final destination on the level. At this point, Me and James held back so the crowds would die down a bit (this took a while). Thankfully the sea life centre has a gated arch that was open, we could stand socially distant and watch the protest pass by.

We then decided to walk back up to Kemptown and walk back down St James street, ) started to move onto the final destination on the level. At this point me and James held back so the crowds would die down a bit (this took a while). Thankfully the sea life centre has a gated arch that was open, we could stand socially distant and watch the protest pass by.

As we drew closer we could see that something wasn’t right, the vibe was completely different than before, more anger in the air, the tension was taking its hold. On arrival, I still couldn’t make out what was happening but seeing this lad in the Police van injured was a good indicator. On closer inspection, I noticed a group of people around the memorial, and a couple was holding their right arms up and displaying the peace sign but every so often it would turn into the Nazi salute ever so briefly for a mere second or two at most. This was angering everyone (including myself) and chants began to be hurled back at them and you can see this in the video.

I noticed a group of people around the memorial, and a couple was holding their right arms up and displaying the peace sign but every so often it would turn into the Nazi salute ever so briefly for a mere second or two at most. This was angering everyone (including myself) and chants began to be hurled back at them and you can see this in the video.

From my Facebook post “For clarity, anyone who destroys war memorials are twats, just the same as people doing that salute are twats and the shouting was aimed at them who were provoking it. In my opinion, War Memorials should be left alone (we wouldn’t be even able to protest without there sacrifice). Some other statues though are debatable but also shouldn’t be vandalized but removed, it’s an incredibly complex matter, but I’m also hopeful that this brings discussion and education (I’m learning more and more each day). I fully respect our armed services and I always will. And no damage was caused to the Memorial and certainly from we were there any intention to vandalize it, in fact, a protester spoke on a megaphone and stated, “why are we engaging, we all should be heading towards the level” and this happened pretty much straight away”.


After that, we decided to go home sitting in St Nicholas churchyard discussing what had happened today, going from solidarity to anger and what to help, wanting to learn, and wanting to educate others because this shit cannot go on anymore.


For ways to help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BLMUK/