Hundreds of protesters March through Brixton to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

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Hundreds of protesters march through Brixton to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day

Hundreds of demonstrators brought a south London district to a standstill when they gathered to mark Afrikan Emancipation Day on Saturday.

Large crowds gathered in Brixton today to commemorate the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act – the law that abolished slavery in most parts of the British Empire.

Many protesters held signs and chanted as they called for reparations to be made to African nations and descendants of slaves.

Slave owners were given approximately £20 million in compensation after the slave trade was semi-abolished – but nothing was paid to the people who had been enslaved for decades.

Police imposed restrictions on Brixton before the event on Friday after they were alerted of demonstrators’ intention to block the A23, the primary road running through the area.

However, large crowds still froze traffic and forced motorists to turn around as they gathered ‘in unity’ at the ‘largely peaceful’ protest today.

The event brought together a coalition of different groups – including Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide, the Afrikan Emancipation Day reparations march committee, the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaigners and Extinction Rebellion.

It comes after millions of people across the world joined Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in May.

Police imposed a curfew before the event (Picture: Guy Bell/REX)

Protesters, floats with speakers and people on motorbikes spilled out onto Brixton Road shortly before 4pm and began to march to nearby Max Roach Park. They listened to speeches and music and observed a three-minute silence at the annual event, which is in its seventh year. 

Antoinette Harrison, 38, who lives in nearby Clapham, praised the ‘unity’ of the demonstration as she marched with her cousin and cousin’s children.

When questioned on why she chose to join, she responded: ‘We are tired. And I was just saying, our parents have gone through, we’re going through this, and I don’t want our next generation to. It’s got to come to an end.’

She added: ‘What’s lovely about it is there’s such unity.



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March 21, 2023 12:06 pm

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