Black Lives Matter U.K.: London activists demand justice for George Floyd
People march towards Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020 to protest against the recent killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis that has led to protests across the U.S. | Matt Dunham / AP

LONDON—Hundreds of anti-racists gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square Sunday to protest against the death of George Floyd, the Black man killed last week in Minneapolis by white police officers, who held him down while one pressed his knee into his neck as he cried: “I can’t breathe.”

The demonstration was organized by Black Lives Matter. Chants of “say his name: George Floyd” and “Black lives matter” came from the crowds.

People, some of them kneeling, gather in Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020 to protest against the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis that has led to protests across the U.S. | Matt Dunham / AP

Protesters also gathered outside the U.S. embassy in London on Saturday in another demonstration organized by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) to show support for the protests and uprising in U.S. cities.

And a linked Zoom meeting took place online Sunday evening, broadcast on SUTR’s Facebook page. Speakers included Labour Party Members of Parliament Diane Abbott, Claudia Webbe, and Bell Riberio Addy, SUTR co-convenor Weyman Bennett, a victim of police brutality in Manchester, and U.S. activists.

Floyd is the latest victim of the institutionally racist police in the U.S., where police violence is a leading cause of death for young Black men, according to a study by Rutgers University in 2019. Black men and boys face a one in 1,000 chance that the cause of their death will be the police, and they are 2.5 times more likely to die than white people after police contact.

SUTR national officer Brian Richardson said: “In 2014, Eric Garner’s dying words were ‘I can’t breathe’ as New York Police officers choked him to death. It is an outrage that such atrocities are still happening six years later.

“George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis is yet more evidence that Black lives are considered cheap and expendable.”

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Richardson said that institutional racism in Britain also exists and has been exposed by the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “What is true in the U.S. is also true here, as we see disproportionate numbers of people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities being exposed and dying of COVID-19.

“That is why we are standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers and demanding that Black Lives Matter.” U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab of the Conservative Party said yesterday that the video footage of Floyd’s death was “very distressing,” but he refused to comment on President Donald Trump’s threat on Twitter that “looting leads to shooting.”

Morning Star


CONTRIBUTOR

Ceren Sagir
Ceren Sagir

Full-time reporter at Britain's only daily socialist newspaper, The Morning Star. Multimedia professional with a journalism NCTJ diploma from Press Association. Human rights activist and campaigner.

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