Anti-racism activists in Lancaster join national #TakeTheKnee protest after abuse of England footballers
Around 40 people joined a #TakeThe Knee protest in Lancaster on Saturday in solidarity with England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
Lancaster and Morecambe Stand Up to Racism organised the event, which took place on the steps of Lancaster Town Hall.
Inspired by the protest at Marcus Rashford's mural against the racist abuse the Black players faced after the final of the Euros, protests have been taking place up and down the country, in town centres and at football grounds.
Audrey Glover for Stand Up To Racism Lancaster and Morecambe said: "We want to show solidarity with the players and all those in our communities who suffer racism.
"This racism and xenophobia precisely illustrates why England footballers took the knee at every match during Euro 2020.
"They were supported by the vast majority of fans. But when some so called supporters booed the team, the government in the shape of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel backed the 'right to boo' and attacked the 'gesture politics' of the team.
"Gary Neville and Tyrone Mings were right to call out Johnson and Patel, with Neville saying that the racist abuse is "actually promoted by the prime minister" and with Mings accusing Patel of "stoking the fire " of racism.
"We want to show we are the anti-racist majority and demand change."
Th group assembled at 2.30pm for speeches and took the knee at 3pm. at the same as a Stand Up to Racism protest in Downing Street in London and when Morecambe players were due to take the knee before their away game at Chorley.
The Trades Union Council, NEU, Labour Party, Green Party, Eco Socialists and East Meets West were all represented at the protest, which was addressed by Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council.