BLACK Lives Matter organisers in Weymouth are encouraging residents to 'take a knee' tomorrow at an event to commemorate BAME people who lost their lives.

The group will gather in the town centre at New Bond Street outside Debenhams between 6-7pm, in a bid to to drive positive change in the local community and encourage people to take a stand against racism - 'even if they don't themselves see racism as a problem.'

There will be spoken-word poetry read at the event, and all those who are able to, are invited to kneel in memory of BAME people who lost their lives in race-related incidents around the world - including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Stephen Lawrence and others.

The event will take place in accordance with social distancing guidelines and people are being asked to wear face masks.

Karam Hayre, organising the event, said he wants to develop a culture in Weymouth that is inclusive of everyone - no matter their skin colour or background.

Explaining why it is important for the issue of race to be tackled in the town, Mr Hayre spoke candidly about some of the shocking prejudice he has encountered.

He said: "I avoid certain pubs in Weymouth and Portland because of the demographic that's in there. I've been called a n**** or a p*** and have had people spit or intimidate me based on the way I look.

"In one pub, as soon as I walked in they said 'we've stopped serving now' - it was about nine o'clock and there were tables full of people drinking. As I left someone shouted 'keep away from our women'.

"I don't have a chip on my shoulder - I just want to help people understand the issues in the hope that one day I'll be able to stop talking about race. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't happen."

Mr Hayre said he wants to help others learn how to be an ally when it comes to standing up against racism.

He added: "I want to arm people with strategies to respectfully and effectively engage other people in the race debate and to promote understanding, common ground and acceptance."

Organisers confirmed they have notified Dorset Police and relevant authorities about the meet-up.