HUNDREDS of peaceful protesters gathered in a defiant show of solidarity against racism, discrimination, and police brutality before calmly marching through the streets.

Demonstrators of all ages, and from all walks of life, congregated in Castle Park, Colchester, on Sunday, as part of the town’s second Black Lives Matter protest.

Organised by University of Essex student Sophie, 21, the demonstration of unity started with powerful and rallying speeches, before protesters respectfully made their way through the town centre.

With clenched fists raised in the air, and thought-provoking placards held aloft, the sea of anti-racism activists flowed through Queen's Street and the High Street.

Since the death of George Floyd, who died after a US police officer held his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, protests have been held across the country and in cities around the world.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Liana Ngamilo, 18, who attended the Colchester demonstration, believes protests are vital in helping educate people on the continued existence of racism.

“I think that these protests are extremely important and useful,” she said.

“Having experienced my own share of racism, I thought I knew it all.

“But this Colchester protest really taught me there is so much more to learn, and I find it so inspiring to hear other stories and experiences.

“It really shined a light on how serious this racism crisis is.

“So, I really enjoyed the protest and it is great that this is happening in Colchester too because there is still a lot of hidden racism.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Brandon Beedon, 21, also headed down to the Black Lives Matter rally, at which many of the activists were seen wearing face masks.

He said it was moving to be part of the empowering event and witness so many people coming together to fight the same fight.

“The protest was amazing and there was a really great energy and vibe,” he said.

“Seeing so many people from so many backgrounds and all generations unite in this one cause was special.

“It really did show how much potential we as people have and what we can do when we all agree and fight for the same thing.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Organiser Sophie said she was also overwhelmed with the success of the march, and believes she has succeeded in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment in which protesters can safely voice their opinions.

“I thought the protest was a huge success and it was just amazing and so powerful,” she said.

“I feel as if I have created a safe space for Black Lives Matter in Colchester.

“I am so proud of myself and my team as well as everyone else who came out to join us.”

Pictures: Brandon Beedon