PROTESTORS are planning to take to the water for an anti-racism demonstration and prove that people living in rural communities can play their part in tackling discrimination.

The event - BLM IN THE STIX – will be a protest along the banks of the River Colne between Wivenhoe and Rowhedge on Saturday in a bid to build on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Participants are planning a bright and colourful event, with boats taking to the water depending on the tide.

The event came about after Wivenhoe resident Gurpreet Sidhu, 42, wrote to Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin in June asking for recommendations from the Lammy Review – an independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in the criminal justice system – to be implemented.

The letter was widely shared and the Black Lives Matter Wivenhoe Facebook group was set up.

Members have been working to campaign against racism and have been holding doorstep protests every Wednesday.

They are hoping the riverside protest will be a launchpad for an online toolkit which has been set up to help rural communities tackle racism.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“Racism is rife everywhere and no less so in rural communities, but protests and activism tend to take place in larger cities,” Gurpreet said.

“When rural communities try to protest or raise awareness they are often faced with opposition from local bodies who claim that racism simply isn’t a local issue.

“We want to change this narrative.

“Just because you live in a rural area where the ethnic minority population is low, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action against racism or recognise your white privilege – white silence is violence.”

The online toolkit has been developed by Wivenhoe Black Lives Matter supporters with help from Stand up to Racism Colchester and the Local Equality Commission in a bid to help people living in rural areas to take positive action.

It aims to provide helpful advice on how to start a campaign in a rural setting, describing some of the key challenges as well as ways to overcome them.