MORE than 200 people attended an event in support of Black Lives Matter in the Castle Gardens in Clitheroe on Saturday.

Participants were socially distanced within Castle Gardens, many displaying homemade signs.

All present observed a silence of eight minutes and 46 seconds to mark the time that George Floyd’s neck was held down by the Minneapolis police officer.

The event was organised by Clitheroe Grammar School student Eve Whittle.

Chantelle Seddon, Liberal Democrat general election candidate, said: "Tolerating differences of opinion is a critical element of a free society and in many issues there is room for healthy debate. Racism isn’t one of them. It is wrong."

Whalley resident Benjamin Anthony, who spoke about his experience of prejudice as a person of colour in the Ribble Valley, said: "The job now is not to extend the divide, it’s to bridge the gap and we do that by coming from a place of understanding and patience. Teach, educate and understand, let’s unify as one people."

Ms Whittle said. "It was an incredible show of solidarity and respect for the Black Lives Matter movement. I am proud to have been a part of this event. We illustrated that a small town doesn’t need to have a small voice."

Giles Bridge, Ribble Valley Labour Party chair, urged people to challenge racism.