Reflecting on Cardiff's Black Lives Matter protest

Like much of the UK, those in Cardiff took to open spaces in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this month.

And while the region wasn't perhaps covered as much as places like London – where settling was reported as well as some pretty disappointing police actions against very young people – it seems the same feelings of both anger and strength were still very much in force.

Freelance photographer Mark Griffiths captured the event held in Cardiff's Bute Park. "During the event, I intended to capture the diverse demographic showing solidarity for the black and Asian community," says Griffiths. "The resulting images convey a sense of strength and unity in the face of global adversity and discrimination. The placard messages differ from person to person, but the statements remain the same. The time for change is now."

According to a report in the regional evening newspaper Express & Star, the 2,000 or so protesters generally kept to two-metre social distancing rules, and many wore face coverings and gloves and the only tensions of the day followed an ill-judged at best, pretty ignorant comment from local councillor, Ali Ahmed that "all lives matter", a statement primarily attributed to those who are apparently not in favour of the equality they purport.

Speaking at the protest, 22-year-old Andrew Ogun said that George Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis' struck a match for everybody. Not just black people. People are frustrated; people are tired; people want to get their voices heard, the paper reports.

"We can't be disingenuous and say police brutality is as bad here as the USA. But regardless, the implicit bias against black people needs to change. Because I'm ten times more likely to be stopped by police. I've been stopped for no valid reason when I'm doing good things, doing artistic things, because of how I looked."

Griffiths graduated in 2013 with a degree in photojournalism from the University of Wales/Trinity St David. Since then his work has been regularly commissioned for clients including Channel 4, The Guardian, Vice and the BBC among others.


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