Anti-Racism Protesters Rally Around The World
Thousands of people exerted to the streets of European cities to display their support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, with protesters in the English port of Bristol releasing their rage at the country’s colonial history by overthrowing a statue of a 17th-century slave trader.
Demonstrators fastened ropes to the statue of Edward Colston before dragging it down to applause and howls of admiration from the masses.
Pictures on social media reveal protesters appearing to kneel on the statue’s neck, remembering the death of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25, which has sparked global protests on racism and police brutality.
Floyd, a black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee on his neck even after he begged for air while lying handcuffed on the ground. The statue met with a watery finish as it was ultimately rolled into the city’s harbor.
It wasn’t the only statute targeted on Sunday. In Brussels, protesters mounted onto the statue of former King Leopold II and chorused “reparations,” according to a video posted on social media. The term “shame” was also graffitied on the monument, indicating conceivably to the fact that Leopold is said to have ruled over the mass death of 10 million Congolese.
Demonstrators also maligned the statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in central London, fording out his last name and spray painting “was a racist” underneath. They also taped a Black Lives Matter mark around its mid-section.
The day’s rally in London started around the U.S. Embassy, where thousands congregated, most of which appeared to be wearing masks against the coronavirus — to protest Floyd’s brutal death and to shine a light-weight on racial inequalities at home.
The protests were mainly peaceful, except for the second day running, there have been some scuffles near the offices of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Objects were thrown at police. Police have sent reinforcements, and calm appears to possess been restored.
Protesters also cast objects at police down the road outside the boundary of Parliament, where officers without disturbance set a line. They were augmented by riot police who hastily ran toward the scene.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan stated the violence was “simply not acceptable” and advised those protesting to do such licitly while also keeping social distancing by persisting two meters (6.5 feet) separate. But most demonstrators didn’t heed that decision, particularly ahead of the U.S. Embassy.
Police said 14 officers were injured Saturday during clashes with protesters in central London that followed a mostly peaceful demonstration that had been attended by tens of thousands.
Hundreds of people also formed a densely packed Sunday during a square in central Manchester, kneeling in silence as a mark of respect for George Floyd.
In Spain, several thousand demonstrators assembled on the streets of Barcelona and at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Many in Madrid brought homemade signs stating “Black Lives Matter,” “Human rights for all,” and “Silence is pro-racist.”
A rally in Rome’s sprawling People’s Square was noisy but peaceful, with the bulk of protesters wearing masks. In Italy’s financial capital, Milan, a couple of thousand protesters gathered during a square outside the central railway station Sunday afternoon. Many within the crowd were migrants or children of migrants of African origin.
Several dozen demonstrators took part during a Black Lives Matter protest held in Tel Aviv’s central Rabin Square. Many wore blue surgical masks but didn’t observe social distance guidelines.
Hundreds of demonstrators led to the streets in downtown Rio de Janeiro to oppose against racism and police killings of black people on Sunday. The protesters weren’t just joining protests against Floyd’s death in the U.S., but also denouncing the murder of black people in Rio’s favelas. The protesters on Sunday carried banners stating, “Black mothers can’t stand crying anymore.” In Sao Paulo, another demonstration concluded with clashes among a small crowd of protesters and the police.
In Hong Kong, about 20 people staged a demonstration in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter march on Sunday outside the U.S. Consulate in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.