In the days following the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, the world mourned the death of two more black bodies – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile - who transitioned from family men to hashtags at the hands of those sworn to protect them. America's problem sparked international outrage and global solidarity, as thousands marched in various countries around the world to show not only support for the families of police brutality, but to protest police violence in their own communities.

In London, hundreds swarmed the streets (of Westminster, Windrush Square in Brixton and Oxford Street) with signs and songs, for a peaceful protest orchestrated by Black Lives Matter's London chapter and 18-year-old travel blogger Capres Willow Turner, who was looking to make a difference. We spoke to Capres about the weekend's protests and why they matter.


What was the mission with setting up the Black Lives Matter UK march over the weekend and how would you explain the actual turn out?

The mission behind setting up the BLM UK March this weekend was to elevate the passion and unity that the black community stands for here in London. We wanted to show the U.S that we are with you. Although the police brutality isn't as common over here as the U.S, we felt it was important to show the world that we care and we support our brothers and sisters across the seas. There has been a couple cases that the media kept under wraps about the same kind of police brutality in the UK so we also wanted to bring them to light and stand up for those who have not received justice here too.

The turn out itself was phenomenal. When I had made the Facebook event and then posted it on Twitter, I expected around 40/50 people to turn up. I know sometimes people don't take me seriously, yet around 3000 people from across London and the UK. I was so overwhelmed.

What was it like on the ground this weekend. How would you describe the vibe and the reaction to that vibe, from onlookers or police?

Everyone was definitely caught up in the moment, I mean I had never seen anything like it. So much love, unity, positivity. Not a single arrest was made, no violence at all and yet there was around 3000 people. Black people are stereotyped as the violent ones on the streets, the ones we must all fear, yet the protests this weekend counteracted this stereotype completely. Onlookers generally showed a lot of support however an older white lady on a bus was noted to be shaking her head at the protesters...possibly in disgust? Hmmmm.

The police were great in the sense that they allowed us to do our thing. I ensured I kept a good working relationship with then as I know the media plays a large part in casting out racist stereotypes that are not true, and I did not want to give them any ammunition!

Why was it so important for you to help coordinate the march and protest the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile personally?

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile's murders I felt were the final straw. London is a very diverse city and why hadn't anything been done in the UK to show that we too are angry that they have not recieved justice. These are peoples LIVES! I just thought well someone needs to step up and do something, and soon... I am overjoyed to have played a key role but I would have been happy too, in helping another passionate soul out in organising the protest if they had beat me to it lol! It's about getting things done that will make a difference... even if it takes a while!

What can the rest of the world take away from that philosophy?

The rest of the world can understand that ; You yourself know in your heart when something is right or wrong... If something is wrong, stand up and make your voice heard. Don't wait for someone else to do something because as the saying goes, 'If you are silent/neutral in times of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.'

Stormzy said on Twitter: "Don't be the stupid idiot who thinks because we live in the UK that black people don't experience racism from the police. We have black brothers and sisters dying in the states and we'd be cowards to just brush it off. This is all our problem." What was it like to have the support of UK artists like Stormzy and Novelist? Why is that so important?

It is so wonderful to be supported by individuals such as these two. It is important that celebrities use their status and power for the correct reasons! Talented they may be, but audiences have to remember that they are people too, who have opinions. It is important they stand up for what is right and allow them to voice their opinions. Many people with status prefer to stay in the less controversial lane to ensure their ratings don't go down due to back lash of the audience, and it is a real shame. But yes, I am overjoyed they are in support! Plus, they help bring publicity to the movement.

How else can people get involved and help support BLM London?

There is a Facebook group for the London side of things. (Here.) Hashtag on Twitter and Instagram #blacklivesmatter showing your support. Organise your own protest/community events & boycotts to keep the solidarity and momentum. Each person has to remember they are powerful, and they can achieve great things.