TIME For Change was the message that rang out loud and clear in Trowbridge park last night as hundreds of people turned out for a memorial rally for American George Floyd.

Sophia Morgan, who organised the evening on social media, kicked things off by telling the 250-strong crowd that she had experienced racism in Trowbridge, where she lives.

Afterwards she said she was heartened by the number of people, from all ethnic groups, who stood for over an hour listening to the speakers.

Many carried homemade signs with slogans like Black Lives Matter; One Race, The Human Race; Listen to our Voices and George Floyd's dying words, I Can't Breathe.

"I am used to racism," declared speaker Cachelle Campbell, who told the crowd that when she moved to West Lavington she found herself 'the only black person in the village'.

Reminding the crowd to make sure they kept to the social distancing two metres apart, and that BAME people have been shown to be more affected by coronavirus, she said: "A huge thank you to all of you who have come out tonight to protest against injustice and the treatment of black people."

She spoke of Mr Floyd's death in Minneapolis, during his arrest by a group of white police officers, saying: "He died in a horrific way and that's why we are here.

"I have tried to imagine what was going through his mind. Most of us will be blessed not to know when we are going to die, but he knew he was dying.

"Those officers did not see him as a human being, a father, a son, a friend. If they saw him it was as a human being of less value than themselves, and that has got to change."

The crowd, which included many young people and lots of family groups, then heard an impassioned plea from Safiya Kinshasa.

"Just by being here you are showing you care, but that's not enough, that's not action. This needs to stop happening," she said.

"If you see discrimination and racism happening you need to stand up for that person. People say that England does not have overt racism and it's not like America but that's not true."

She asked why schools only teach black history for a month of the year, and urged youngsters in the crowd to ask their teachers and schools to include more history of black people in lessons, receiving shouted promises from many to do just that.

Ms Morgan, her voice breaking with emotion, then thanked people again for turning out, before the entire crowd knelt to 'take the knee' in memory of George Floyd.

Several spontaneous speakers then came forward to add their thanks to people for turning up and express their support for the campaign.

The protestors in Trowbridge included Bradley Robeson who said: “There were pockets of groups of people dispersed around the park, some with placards, most with face masks on. 

“The speeches were enthused with passion and emotion, which at times stirred the crowd into bouts of clapping and whooping. 

“Speaking with local woman Gemma, who came down to support the demonstration with her sister Shanice, her response to why they have came down tonight, was 'the more people out here for this cause, the better'. 

“Also, speaking to one of the organisers, Cachelle, who gave a stirring speech, she said 'it's important the fight for equality goes on'.”

The gathering, which was completely peaceful and socially distanced, was watched by two Trowbridge PCSOs, who stayed at the back of the crowd.

Afterwards, Trowbridge Police posted a tweet saying: “Thank you to everyone who attended the Black Lives Matter protest in Trowbridge Park this evening.

“We are pleased to report that everyone who attended was respectful and peaceful and made efforts to adhere to social distancing.

“Everyone has the right to lawful and peaceful protest and we will always work with our communities to facilitate this.”

Two other protests have been announced for 2pm on Saturday in Green Park, Bath, and at 1pm on Sunday at College Green in Bristol.

Similar protests have also taken place in Swindon, London and other towns and cities throughout the country.

Some people have condemned organisers for planning the rallies during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they could help to spread the virus.