Greater Birmingham has been showing solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement, which rose to prominence this week following the tragic death of American George Floyd.

There has been widespread outrage after a video showed 46-year-old Mr Floyd being arrested in Minneapolis last week and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck despite him pleading that he could not breathe.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and will appear in court.

In a collective stand against racism, millions of people turned the internet black for a #BlackOutTuesday social media protest.

Birmingham theatres the Hippodrome, the REP and Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) all remained silent on their Twitter accounts throughout the day in a show of support for the #BlackOutTuesday initiative.

West Bromwich Albion Football Club followed suit, with a ‘Together we are stronger’ message on a black background being their only social media post yesterday.

The Library of Birmingham was turned purple last night as a show of support for the movement.

A tweet said: “We will light @LibraryofBham purple tonight to show our support for, and solidarity with, the movement. Racism has no place in our city or anywhere else.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street backed the movement and tweeted: “I stand appalled at the scenes in the US and offer my support and solidarity to everyone peacefully standing up for their community.

“For a region so proud of its diversity as the West Midlands, events in the States remind those of us in positions of influence that we must always stand up for the principle of equality.”

Vanessa Lewis, marketing and events assistant at the Chamber, opened up about how the news of George Floyd’s death had impacted on her.

She said: “Over the past week the latest news about the late George Floyd has really been heavy on my heart.

“Although it’s in America, it does not mean that this is not our issue too and for years black people have been very vocal about justice and combatting the systematic oppression we experience daily. 

“Sometimes it’s not racism, it’s ignorance and if we can help educate just one person, it is a step in the right direction.”

Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “The footage of the murder of George Floyd was sickening, yet it highlights a much deeper and long-standing problem, not only in the USA but also our own communities.

“Staying silent is not an option and the Chamber stands in support and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all who are peacefully campaigning to eradicate racism.” 

Pictured: The Library of Birmingham lit up in purple last night (image from @BirminghamWeAre Twitter)

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