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Sidmouth vigil for Black Lives Matter

Peaceful protest attracts 200

Around 200 Sidmouth residents took to the knee on Saturday in solidarity with the Black Lives Mater movement.

The silent event passed off peacefully and with attendees respecting current social distancing regulations. 

Paul Ryder, one of the organisers said: “The death of George Floyd and the events that followed sparked reaction around the world. Through conversations in local social media groups, a group of Sidmouth residents decided they wanted take positive action to hold an event and raise awareness to the subject of racism. Our aim is to show solidarity with the BLM movement, bearing witness, learning, raising awareness and challenging racism. We want to raise awareness in a peaceful way. It’s not party political.”

Marianne Murphy, who initiated the group said: “We were mindful of the current Covid 19 restrictions, and we asked those attending to wear masks, be socially distanced, silent and kept our distance from the public. “

The Sidmouth BLM group has already attracted more than 150 members of all ages from the local community. 

Many people responding to the news of the Sidmouth event on the Radio Exe Facebook page were upset with the station for covering the issue. Bruce White says: "Stop all this media coverage nonsense." Others believe the protestors are wrong. Steve Bell says: "They must be hard up, bored, sad individual, whom haven't got some thing better to do with their lifes [sic]." Others applaud them. Abby Jenkin says: "I think people are pretty tired of systemic racism."

Radio Exe is removing some of the most offensive posts that are, in our opinion, clearly hate speech. Free speech that offends is problematic, but we continue to allow debate. Our Devon Discussion podcast is on the Black Lives Movement issue. It is available through the Radio Exe website, at the bottom of the 'on-air' tab.

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