Thousands join London protest to stand in solidarity over George Floyd's murder


Hundreds of young protesters gathered in London's Hyde Park to join a Black Lives Matter demonstration following the death of George Floyd in the United States.


They persuaded two police officers to “take the knee” outside the gates of Downing Street in an overwhelmingly peaceful protest in Hyde Park where they chanted "black lives matter" and "we will not be silent".


They carried hundreds of handmade signs and called out the names of Floyd and others in the UK such as Mark Duggan who had died at the hands of police, or who were victims of racial injustice such as the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.


Protests began in the US after a video showed Mr Floyd, 46, being arrested on 25 May in Minneapolis and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe.


The organisers of Wednesday's event said it was important to protest in the capital "to show solidarity".


Star Wars actor John Boyega joinsed the masses and made an empowering speech to the crowd saying "black lives have always mattered".


Boyega referenced two other black Americans who controversially died in the US, and also mentioned the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993.


"We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence."

"I’m speaking to you from my heart. Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones,” Boyega added.


The central London rally comes after protests outside the US Embassy in south London as well as in Trafalgar Square.

Organisers of today's event said it was important to protest in the capital "to show solidarity".


The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, according to court documents and could likely be charged with first-degree murder if evidence supports.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that Mr Floyd's death had been "appalling" and "inexcusable", but was criticised for failing to comment on the killing before now.


UK police forces said they were “appalled” at the death of George Floyd and vowed to tackle racism.


In a joint statement the leader of three national police bodies said: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.


“We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it.



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