From Oban with love

Friends James MacIntyre and Georgie Stones organised the silent show of solidarity with other pal Issy Thomson.

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About 200 people lined the seafront at Oban  sending out a message of love and equality to all.

Georgie Stones and friends James MacIntyre and Issy Thomson who organised the silent show of solidarity along the esplanade were amazed but not surprised by the big turnout.

The three pals feeling ‘fed-up and unhappy with the world’ spread word of Friday’s event online with Black Lives Matter Oban and other  groups hoping people would accept the invite to join them in a show of support for people who have to fight for equal rights.

Georgie, 21 from Benderloch, said: ‘It’s warmed our hearts to see so many people turn out. People really do care. Today was proof that Oban wanted to show just how much diversity and equal rights  matters.

‘Me and my friends were feeling fed-up and unhappy about what’s happening in our world, with black people having to ask not to be killed and decided we needed to take some kind of action, the silent show of solidarity was a way of getting started.

‘We are all human, we all deserve to be treated the same. We’ve been able to stand here to openly show how we feel and that we disagree with how people are treated wrongly in the world, but there are so many people who do not have that right and are oppressed. They have to  fight for the rights that we are privileged to have, so the very least we can do is to stand here and show them our support.’

One of the youngest there was three-and-a-half month old Aoife MacKay with brother Oran and mum Briana Brewer from Dunbeg. Others had travelled from Kerrera and Mull to be there – some came from Appin,  Taynuilt, Kilchrenan and other villages around Oban, as well as the town itself.

Rachel Rogers and daughter Milly, 20, travelled from Ardfern to join in.

‘We have been talking about it at home and felt we should be here,’ said Mrs Rogers. Milly added: ‘For a small community on the west coast of Scotland, it’s still important that we show our solidarity and make a stand for equal rights.’

Matthew Houston, 17, from Taynuilt was joined by his sisters Katie and Sophie Houston.

‘We want to see more education about racism and rights. We’re here because we believe it should be on school curriculums,’ he said.

Argyll and Bute councillor Kieron Green also took his place on the socially-distanced line that stretched all the way from Station Square past the Columba Hotel.

‘I’m absolutely delighted by the number of people who have turned out and the way that people have conducted themselves. The vast majority of people have been wearing face coverings and have kept a distance. It’s a real credit to people to show they care so much and to do it safely.’