On Sunday June 7 the people of Derby gathered to say that Black Lives Matter. The event was peaceful, with no visible police presence (the police had closed off roads to allow the event to take over the whole of the area near the Council House).
Although I was there to participate rather than photograph I of course always carry my camera and so took the opportunity to document the moment for myself more than for anyone else. I’d estimate over two thousand people gathered (the local press estimated it at ‘hundreds’ but given their own photos are clearly from earlier in the day thats no surprise). I’ve never seen a protest in Derby be so large, seeing the range of people attending made me feel good about the city I live in.
We are at a time in our lives where we know that gathering in a crowd puts us at a risk of dying. The fact that people gathered despite this risk shouldn’t been seen as ‘foolish’ but rather should be seen as a sign of how important the moment is. As you can see from the group shots below almost everyone in the crowd wore masks (here in the UK there has been no instruction from government yet to wear masks other than on public transport), and everyone kept to their own space as much as possible. A sharp contrast to the images from the previous bank holiday weekend and recent VE day celebrations that showed people unmasked gathering in large groups… but I suspect any increase in COVID 19 will be blamed on protesters anyway.