HUNDREDS of people stood in silent protest in York's Bishopthorpe Road on Sunday to remember George Floyd.

About 300 people gathered on a stretch of grass opposite the Swan Pub, to show their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement against the oppression of Black people.

One of the event organisers, Amy Martin, said: "We stood in silence for 16 minutes (a minute of silence for each letter of Black Lives Matter) and took those minutes to think about the lives that had been lost and the lives that are being stolen every day because of systematic, institutionalised racism.

"We stood peacefully and with our masks in place, two metres apart from other households, using our silence to listen to the voices not previously being heard.

"At the beginning of the silent protest, the police arrived and as the organiser, I assured them that we would be standing in silence, peacefully showing our support to the BLM movement and that social distancing would be adhered to.

"The police were very supportive and stayed on the outskirts of the protest to show their solidarity and be on hand for our own safety.

"We felt encouraged, not threatened, by their presence, and want to thank them for their support."

After our 16 minutes of silence, the street echoed with clapping and a series of individuals stood at the centre of the crowd to speak out spontaneously about the impact of racism on their lives and how York has not been innocent in perpetuating systematic racism.

Ms Martin said: "One 15-year-old girl, stood and talked about the racism she has faced as a child and a young adult, living in York, and reminded us that not taking a stance and being compliant doesn't do enough to challenge racism in our city.

"Hers was one of many brave voices whose power and emotion reminded us all that this is not the end of the movement, but rather the beginning of real change."

Thousands of people attended largely peaceful demonstrations in cities across the UK. But unrest in London on Sunday led to eight officers being injured and 12 people being arrested.

In Bristol, police confirmed there would be an investigation into "criminal damage" of a statue of Edward Colston - a prominent 17th Century slave trader - which was toppled by protesters.

Mr Floyd died after a white police officer held him down by pressing his knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25. His death has sparked days of protests around the world.