Black Lives Matter protestors shut down Coventry ring road

The peaceful protest on Sunday unexpectedly took to Coventry ring road resulting in some temporary road closures.

Credit: Dylan Parrin

Protestors took to the streets of Coventry on Sunday to take part in a Black Lives Matter march through the city centre.

Reportedly thousands of Coventrians turned up to show solidarity with the movement and oppose the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.

As protestors marched from Broadgate, Coventry ring road was briefly closed as some protestors took to the roadway.

Despite some disgruntled motorists in the face of unexpected temporary roads closures, as one Twitter user said, most drivers showed “lots of solidarity waiting for lanes to reopen”.

One eyewitness said there were applause and cheers from many drivers.

A section of the M6, southbound at junction 3, also had to be closed after some protestors began marching on the carriageway. Police officers reopened the road within an hour.

The organisers of the protest said that they did not advocate or “condone any protestors blocking off a motorway”.

A spokesperson went on to say that far more people turned up to the protest than they expected and that it got “completely out of control”.

No violence, as has been seen in parts of the capital this past weekend, was reported, with the protests remaining peaceful throughout and a one-minute silence being held.

As protestors disperse, placards were left surrounding the statue of Lady Godiva in Broadgate.

Credit: Dylan Parrin

Some of the placards read: “Black is beautiful”, “racism is a pandemic”, “the UK is not innocent”, and further messages with similar anti-racism sentiment.

Digital information signage on the ring road was changed to display the words “Black Lives Matter”, accompanied by a pixelated fist.

Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, addressed crowds at the protest, urging that “our education system [needs to be] properly funded so that black people, and all people, have the opportunity to achieve what they want to achieve.”

“We need to ensure that our education system has black British history inside it — proper black history”, she added.

More to follow.