DESPITE receiving threats of violence, protesters took park in a socially-distanced rally to speak out against racism.

The ‘Take the Knee’ rally was organised by the Barnsley Trades Union Council, Barnsley Stand Up To Racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement and took place in Mandela Gardens on Sunday.

During the rally, protesters knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds, which is the length of time that an American police officer reportedly knelt on the neck of George Floyd, who later died.

Secretary of Barnsley Trades Union Council, George Arthur, helped organise the rally. He said: “More than 40 people turned up and we had a nice and relaxing atmosphere.

“I think everyone felt quite shaken while we were kneeling for all that time. I think it really hit home how long George Floyd was struggling while he was being detained.”

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Before the rally, George, and other organisers received unpleasant comments on Facebook about their plans for the rally.

“I think it is an unfortunate side effect of what we are doing,” added George. “I deleted all the comments, but I think that it shows that what we are doing is working.

“We had people threaten violence or said they were going to throw eggs at us - thankfully nothing happened and I have passed along the comments to the police.

“I think if we let some unsavoury comments put us off from doing the right thing then nothing would change, and those people would win. We were there to peacefully make a point, and I think the comments go to show that it was challenging some people’s perceptions.”

George spoke of plans to organise other rallies in the future to help speak out against racism further.