CHILDREN and their parents decorated a street in Oxford with colourful chalk art in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

At least 20 people in Cowley covered pavements on Stratford Street with vibrant messages calling for peace and racial justice.

The group gathered on Sunday afternoon, while catching the last rays of sunshine.

Aside from the colourful drawings of rainbows and rockets chalked by toddlers taking part in the event, participants also drew messages carrying slogans like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Take the Knee’. The slogans are the rallying calls of the movement in the USA, where the campaign was intensified by the killing of George Floyd, 46, after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cowley resident Charlotte Ryland, who organised the activity, said the response from locals was ‘absolutely amazing’.

The event was in support of Ms Ryland’s cousins in San Diego, California, whose Black Lives Matter community chalk art was erased with jet washers by city officials following complaints from their neighbours.

The mother-of-two commented: “It is quite difficult to take a stand on something that really matters at the moment with all social restrictions in place.

“It was great to have so many people joining but at the same time be able to keep two meters apart.”

Ms Ryland said she organised the activity using the neighbourhood’s WhatsApp group that was created during the coronavirus lockdown.

She said that nobody living on Stratford Street or in the surrounding area, had made a complaint about the drawings and that they were still there.

Ms Ryland added: “I even received a lovely postcard from one of the neighbours congratulating us on our efforts.”

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While the mother-of-two does not normally take part in Black Lives Matter protests, she said that she was very interested in the activities of the Oxford branch of the Stand Up Against Racism campaign and plans to become more involved in future events.

She said she was considering organising another ‘chalk in’ soon but on a bigger scale and with more people taking part.