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George Floyd death: Thousands join Birmingham protest

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The protest is being held in Birmingham's Centenary Square
Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Birmingham to protest about the death in the US of George Floyd.Mr Floyd, an African-American, died on 25 May when a white policeman continued to kneel on his neck after he pleaded he could not breathe.Thousands of people marched in London on Wednesday after the death sparked global protests against racism.The demonstration in Birmingham started in Centenary Square, outside the library, at 16:00 BST.BBC News correspondent Phil Mackie is at the scene, where he said several thousand people had gathered.
Birmingham "has a proud history of standing up to racism," the council said
Protesters have been shouting "I can't breathe"
Organisers UK Isn't Innocent said Britain had "a duty to stand in solidarity with the US while exposing the inner workings of racism and police brutality in the UK"."We are tired and we have been tired for too long," lead organiser Hannah Ringane said."We have been taught that we won't be treated the same as everyone else, that we will be viewed as aggressors."
The demonstration is expected to continue into the evening
West Midlands Police and the council urged protesters to practise social distancing
Aston Villa and England defender Tyrone Mings - who was targeted with racist abuse while playing for his country against Bulgaria last year - indicated he would join demonstrators, urging his followers online to "stand for what's right".
At the scene
By Phil Mackie, BBC News correspondent Although some people have begun to leave, many more are continuing to arrive. The atmosphere has been good, with whole families coming to express their solidarity with the demonstrators.A handful of police liaison officers have kept a respectful distance and the crowds have remained peaceful.The younger generation in particular have made banners with clever slogans, while several older onlookers, especially from the Afro-Caribbean community, have been overcome with emotion when they see the size of the crowd.
The demonstration in Centenary Square has been peaceful
Birmingham City Council said it supported the demonstration, but encouraged protesters to maintain social distancing.
Latest news and updates from the West Midlands
"The city of Birmingham has a long and proud history of standing up to racism and to prejudice, and that is why today we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement," said Labour councillor and cabinet member for social inclusion John Cotton.Four Minneapolis police officers have been charged over 46-year-old Mr Floyd 's death, including Derek Chauvin who faces a second-degree murder charge.
More on George Floyd's death
VIEWPOINT: Tipping point for racially-divided nation
WATCH: 'This is why we are protesting'
TIMELINE: Recent black deaths at hands of police
CRIME AND JUSTICE: How are African-Americans treatedHOW IT HAPPENED: The last moments of his life
Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk
George Floyd death
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