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Part of the over 1,000 strong Black Lives Matter march in Leeds – photo Iain Dalton

The Black Lives Matter movement shook Leeds on Wednesday July 14th when over 1,000 people gathered in the city centre before marching through the central shopping district.

Ian and Monique Slattery, Bradford Socialist Party

Speakers at the rally could barely be heard at the middle, never mind the back, of the crowd with organisers understandably under-prepared for the scale of the protest which was organised at quite short notice and mainly through social media and word of mouth.

Those attending were clear that just a single token demo wouldn’t be enough and there was an enormous thirst for a plan of action from here.

One several protesters who held up Socialist Party leaflets in lieu of a placard - photo Iain Dalton

One several protesters who held up Socialist Party leaflets in lieu of a placard – photo Iain Dalton

Our explanations to people about what our leaflets were arguing turned into a public address as people nearby turned to listen, ask questions and collect more information.

The simple point that capitalism thrives off racism and only by overthrowing the system can we rid ourselves of it was accepted and understood by most we met there.

Front of the Black Lives Matter demo as it set off from Victoria Gardens - photo Iain Dalton

Front of the Black Lives Matter demo as it set off from Victoria Gardens – photo Iain Dalton

Following such an outstanding first demo the next steps are crucial and must include continuing public action and the need for local organising committees to work out where the most effective place to next take Black Lives Matter is.

Over 20 copies of the Socialist were sold and 400 leaflets given out, promoting the Leeds Socialist Party public meeting on ‘The origins of oppression and how we fight it’ on August 8th.

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