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Traffic stopped in south London during Afrikan Emancipation Day celebrations | UK News


A group of people stopped traffic in south London as hundreds of others celebrated the end of slavery in the UK.

Hundreds of people gathered in Brixton on Saturday for Afrikan Emancipation Day.

A large crowd stopped traffic and forced motorists to turn around on the A23 Brixton Road.

People gathered to show solidarity with the black community and support the day that slavery was abolished

The annual event, held on 1 August, marks the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act.

The act freed more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in most British colonies.

After other groups, such as environment protesters Extinction Rebellion, said they were planning to occupy the area, the Metropolitan Police imposed several restrictions on the event.

A number of conditions were imposed on the demonstrations within areas such as Windrush Square and outside Brixton Police Station, which included that any events must finish by 8pm and people should not walk in the roads.

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The Met said that the time limit was set so that officers could separate those attending the demonstrations from people attending other gatherings or unlicensed music events.

It also said that gatherings of more than 30 people will be in breach of the Health Protection Restrictions – put in place during the coronavirus pandemic – adding its decision to impose conditions did not mean the assembly in breach of these regulations was authorised by police.

Officers said that blocking the road would cause “serious disruption” to Brixton and the surrounding area because it is used by hundreds of bus routes and thousands of motorists.

At the start of the celebration, people listened to music, watched speeches and observed a three-minute silence.

People began marching shortly before 4pm to Max Roach Park.

A motorcyclist is seen looking on at the celebrations during the event in Brixton
A motorcyclist is seen looking on at the celebrations as he drives through the busy area

Antoinette Harrison, who lives in nearby Clapham, praised the “unity” of the event as she marched with her cousin and cousin’s children.

On why she chose to join, the 38-year-old said: “We are tired. And I was just saying, our parents have gone through this, we’re going through this, and I don’t want our next generation to. It’s got to come to an end.”

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A coalition of groups were involved in the event on Saturday, including Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations march committee and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners.

In a statement explaining why it was taking part in the event, Extinction Rebellion said it was to raise awareness of its “Stop The Maangamizi: We charge Genocide/Ecocide!” petition, adding: “We need to pay more attention to Ecocide and raise our awareness of genocidal and environmental racism.”


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