Anti-racism campaigners in Scotland have been urged to avoid mass gatherings and make their voices heard safely.

Marches and rallies have been planned across the country following the death of George Floyd in the US.

Activists have been urged to reconsider and take part in virtual rallies planned to stay in line with social distancing guidelines and limit the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Nicola Sturgeon said that in different circumstances, she may have joined in the demonstrations. 

However, she said the coronavirus outbreak meant it was "simply not safe" and would "pose a risk to life".

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A Black Lives Matter protest is set to begin in Glasgow Green at midday on Sunday, after being previously moved from the city's George Square to allow for more social distancing.

In Edinburgh, Holyrood Park is to be the home of protesters at around 1pm, with organisers asking those who wish to attend to wear appropriate PPE and observe social distancing.

Aberdeen will see a socially-distanced poster protest take place in several locations, and requires anyone attending to book 'slots' to display signs and artwork.

A vigil in Inverness was cancelled by organisers after more than 500 people showed their interest, and concerns were raised over social distancing.

While physical protests are being advised against, several virtual demonstrations have been planned as an alternative on Sunday.

The sister of a man who died in police custody is to speak at an online protest in Glasgow organised by the STUC calling for justice for her brother.

The union said it fully understands the depth of anger and desire to show solidarity that is moving people to attend a physical Black Lives Matter rally in Glasgow on Sunday, but cannot advise people to attend due to the coronavirus threat.

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Instead it plans to hold a virtual rally on the fifth anniversary of the burial of Sheku Bayoh to reaffirm its support for the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign and to highlight the racism experienced by black and ethnic minority people in Scotland.

HeraldScotland: Kadi Johnson (right) will speak at the virtual rally organised by the STUC (Andrew Milligan/PA)Kadi Johnson (right) will speak at the virtual rally organised by the STUC (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Speakers at the rally will include Kadi Johnson, Sheku Bayoh’s sister, Aamer Anwar, lawyer for the Bayoh family, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, Anas Sarwar MSP (Labour) and Usman Ali, Chairman of the STUC Black Workers Committee.

Violence in London on Saturday left ten police officers injured and 14 people arrested after the Metropolitan Police said the crowd became “angry and intent on violence”.

Superintendent Jo Edwards said police understood “people’s passion to come and let their voice be heard”, adding that most members of the public protested without incident.

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However, Supt Edwards said it was ”totally unacceptable” that 23 officers had been injured while policing demonstrations in recent days and a “post-event investigation” would take place.

At Friday’s coronavirus news briefing, Matt Hancock warned people against joining the demonstrations this weekend, pointing out “we’re still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat”.