06:25PM, Thursday 04 June 2020
Peaceful protesters joined a 12-year-old girl on The Long Walk to march in solidarity over the death of African-American George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been taking place across the US, and now London, in the past week in response to the death of Mr Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Mum Jessica Christie wanted to help the spread the word of her daughter Yani’s silent protest after she only received five replies.
Speaking ahead of the protest, Yani, a pupil at St Peter’s Middle School, Old Windsor, said: “I didn’t want to do anything too dangerous and I thought maybe we could just do a silent protest but now there’s nearly 200 people saying they’re coming.
“I am black so that’s one reason [for organising the event], but I just wanted to do this with my friends to support George Floyd.”
Yani said as she has grown up she has noticed her sister, Arwen, who is white, has been bullied less than her.
The 12-year-old, from Windsor, told the Express she has experienced racism and she hoped by protesting she can help bring an end to discrimination.
Jessica added: “The way these students speak about what’s going on just fascinates me.
“They are so intelligent and so understanding of what’s right and wrong in this world and that has made this so emotional.
“The children are the ones that are going to change the future and keep fighting for this change.”
Protesters took a knee before silently marching from Cambridge Gate along The Long Walk at about 4pm today.
Jessica thanked The Crown Estate and officers from Thames Valley Police for supporting the event as well as school children and the wider community for turning up to show their support.
Windsor resident Poppy Howard-Wall, who helped raise awareness of the march, said: "We really felt like we wanted to protest but we couldn't make it to London due to the risk of COVID-19.
"But it's really important to make people aware that change doesn't just happen in capital cities or outside 10 Downing Street.
"It begins in your local area and I thought it was important to show that we can do that here."
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