Pictures show hundreds of rival protesters gathering at Black Lives Matter rally in Newcastle city centre
Hundreds of protesters gathered at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle on Saturday, June 13 as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to gather momentum across the UK.
Officers from Northumbria Police stood in lines across Grey Street to maintain a divide between anti-racist campaigners and rival groups in the city.
A group of people congregated at the bottom of the famous monument alongside a Union Jack flag emblazoned with Defenders of Newcastle.
They were met with jeers from opposing North East Against Racism Supporters holding Black Lives Matter signs.
Across the UK thousands have taken to the streets to condemn racism after the death of black man George Floyd in the US in May.
Groups have been gathering at monuments and war memorials in a bid to ‘protect’ them from demonstrators, following incidents in London and Bristol last weekend which saw protesters pull down statues linked to historical racism and slavery.
In Sunderland a group gathered at the war memorial on Burdon Road to protect it from vandalism, despite no Black Lives Matter protests being planned in the city.
Council bosses have promised a ‘conversation’ about Wearside’s monuments as the statue of Sunderland general Henry Havelock in Mowbray Park was added to the ‘topple the racists’ list.
The list includes monuments across the UK which campaigners claim ‘celebrate slavery and racism’.
In response, Sunderland’s opposition Conservative group launched a petition to 'protect' the city's historic monuments so that ‘mobs do not destroy them’.