THE council wants Brighton and Hove to become an anti-racist city.

The declaration comes ahead of a further Black Lives Matter march in the city today.

More than 10,000 protesters flooded the city's streets last month following the killing of George Floyd - an unarmed black man who died while being restrained by a Minneapolis police officer.

He told the officer "I can't breathe" as he knelt on Mr Floyd's neck.

READ MORE>>>Details of Black Lives Matter protest due to take place in Brighton today

Ahead of the demonstration, on June 13, Brighton and Hove City Council pledged to become an anti-racist authority. But a petition, started by campaign group Watch This Sp_ce, asked the council to go further.

The Argus:

The petition, which has been signed by more than 1,500 people, asked for Brighton and Hove to be declared as an anti-racist city. And the council has responded.

Councillor Carmen Appich, chairwoman of the tourism, equality, communities and culture committee, said: "More than 10,000 people safely took part in Black Lives Matter protests in the city in June.

"It was a powerful demonstration and affirmation of the city’s values of inclusivity and desire for us to become an anti-racist city.

"We welcome the commitments made so far by people and organisations in the city to be anti-racist and we call on all services and employers in the city to do everything they can to work towards Brighton and Hove becoming an anti-racist city. We stand ready to work with you.”

The Argus:

Since the June protest, several steps have been taken by the council as part of a new "anti-racism strategy".

A spokesman for the authority said these included launching a new fund for black and ethnic minority (BME) groups in the city, tackling racism and bias in schools, celebrating the legacies that reflect the city's values and continuing to work with the council's BME Worker's Forum to deliver a plan to be a more inclusive employer".

Now, further action will be taken in order to make Brighton and Hove an anti-racist city.

Cllr Appich said: "We will continue to listen and learn, enable ignored voices to be heard, remove barriers, and ensure opportunities are open to all, so people can live their lives free from discrimination and harm."

The Argus:

She continued: "We will launch a new resource area on the council website where you will be able to access information, advice, follow our progress, find out how to get involved and hold us to account. Your ward councillors will also welcome any queries and concerns you may have."

Cllr Appich also shared a message with protesters planning to join the Black Lives Matter march today.

She said: "We’re again calling for peaceful protests this weekend.

The Argus:

"If you’re protesting – and we fully support your right to protest – please maintain safe physical distancing and take the right precautions to keep yourself, your family and our community safe from Covid-19.

"We advise avoiding public transport if possible, washing your hands before leaving home and when you return, keeping a physical distance of two metres from people outside of your household, and staying home if you or someone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19. Wearing a face covering could also help protect others.

"Thank you again to the thousands of people who protested safely last time and demonstrated our city’s values."