HUNDREDS of protestors gathered in Hereford for a Black Lives Matter demonstration over the death of George Floyd in America.

Crowds in High Town, who observed social distancing, took part in a silence lasting more than eight minutes – the amount of a time a police officer knelt on the neck of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, before he died.

Demonstrators, many wearing protective face masks, listened on as number of speakers on why racism is an issue to them.

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Jessica Deebank, 26, spoke of her personal challenges with being the victim of racist abuse.

“I was a prisoner in my own skin as that’s all I would ever be look at as; someone who is not from this country,” she said.

“I was brought up, told to go back to my own country, that my hair was ugly, that my features were ugly.”

She added: “What was I to do? Stand there and become the target, or fight back and become the angry, black target?

She added: “I’m tired of being in fight or flight mode. I wanted my voice to break the pattern, I wanted my voice to educate my friends, my family, co-workers and even strangers that racism is still going on even to this day.”

Jordi Creed also made a speech and said when his daughter was born in 2017 to a black South African woman, he had to do more to challenge racism.

He said: “The second I found out her mum was pregnant I knew what it meant. It meant my distaste for racism I’d had for my entire life could no longer only exist as a shake of the head, or telling someone to pipe down if they spoke out of turn about a person of colour.

“I could no longer allow racism in the form of jokes, or outward racism in any form.”

Questions were raised on social media about whether the demonstration on June 5, which followed others in UK cities, was legal.

Current rules prevent outdoor gatherings of more than six people and police can hand out fixed penalty notices for those breaking the regulations.

But Ethan Gillespie, who helped organise the Black Lives Matter protest, said they achieved their aim.

"We truly, for the first time, gave black voices a platform to be heard in Hereford," Ethan, 20, said.

"It’s so important that we all continue fighting for and supporting black lives for a better future, for here and everywhere."