Black Lives Matter protesters told "go back to Africa" at Hertfordshire demonstration

9 June 2020, 15:59

WARNING: Video contains offensive language

Lillie Almond

By Lillie Almond

A group of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were told to "go back to Africa" during a demonstration yesterday.

Footage has been posted online of people shouting at protestors near the Clock Tower in the rural rown of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire on Monday afternoon.

One of the protestors who attended told LBC: “There was at one point when the group that was there to cause trouble were making some sort of monkey sound.

“There was a Nazi salute.

“When we were told to go down on our knees for nine minutes, for the time Floyd was pinned down for, they were making a lot of noise - it was really, really bad.”

Footage has been posted online of people shouting at protestors
Footage has been posted online of people shouting at protestors. Picture: Alice

The event was listed on Facebook as “Hoddesdon (Static Sitting) BLM Protest”.

One video on Twitter shows a man shouting at the protestors, “Why are blacks, killing blacks, killing blacks?” Around him, other men are also shouting at the protestors. They are standing side by side.

Videos show the men being kept away from the protestors by a line of police, as they shouted obscenities.

A woman on a megaphone is heard saying, “We are here on a peaceful protest,” but her next words are drowned out by opposing profanity and shouting.

In much of the footage, protestors are holding signs. One of them, Alice, shot a video in which a man shouts at a protestor, “Why don’t you go back to Africa then?”

Alice, who filmed the incident, told LBC: “They were chanting: ‘There’s only one Lee Ribgy.’

“It was just very intimidating, having a large group, you know, they’re fully grown men - shouting at a group of young women and families.

“It was horrible… It makes me appreciate even more, how important this whole movement is.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police said: “We will always challenge discrimination and racism wherever we find it and investigate crime reported to us and are taking action as a result of what happened in Hoddesdon yesterday."

Herts BLM, who organised the event, posted on their Instagram page: "Thank you to everyone who came out and protested today.

"Though we had to directly face racists who tried to discredit our efforts, together we showed solidarity, letting Hoddesdon know that #blacklivesmatter."