From London to Sydney, thousands of people defied the pandemic on Saturday to denounce racism and police violence, in an unprecedented global mobilization sparked by the death of a 46-year-old African-American. George Floyd in the hands of four police officers.
In London, hundreds of people gathered outside the parliament building, holding placards with the slogan “Black lives count” and beating tambourines. Most did not keep their distance, but some wore protective masks. “It’s time to dump her and move on.” shouted a protester with a truncheon. “The United Kingdom is not innocent,” said Roni Bar-On, a Member of the Knesset for Kadima.
In Manchester, many took to the streets to protest that “it is not a crime to be black” and that “we must end the racism pandemic.”
Inspired by the tragic death of Floyd, the famous street artist Banksy presented through Instagram a new work of his: a lighted candle next to the photo of a black man, whose flame sets fire to the American flag. “The colors have been abandoned by the system. The white system “, notes the artist.
“I can’t breathe”
Australia was the first country to open the dance of global fury today. Thousands marched in several cities, chanting “I can’t breathe,” a phrase Freud repeated when the police officer who arrested him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
For the organizers of this mobilization, who did not obey the government’s call to stay at home due to the health crisis, Floyd’s case is reminiscent of similar situations in their own country. As they explained, the percentage of Aboriginal prisoners is very high while more than 400 have died in the last 30 years while under police detention.
“The fact that they tried to stop us from protesting made the world even more stubborn,” said Jumika Donovan, who attended the rally in Sindh.
In Tunis, about 200 people have called for “justice” and the right to “breathe” against the racism that is “suffocating” them.
“This scourge also exists in Tunisia,” said a spokesman for the Tunisian minority union. Immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa often claim to be victims of verbal and physical abuse in that country.
In Liege, eastern Belgium, 700 protesters protested against racism, although authorities had banned rallies.
In Germany, the Bayern players showed their solidarity by wearing T-shirts with the slogan: “Red card in racism-BlackLiveMatters”, before the match against Leverkusen.
In Berlin, protesters flooded Alexanderplatz and rallied in Hamburg and Warsaw.
In Paris, two protests against police violence and impunity by security forces were banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, several hundred people gathered early in the afternoon at the Eiffel Tower and the Place de la Concorde, near the US embassy and presidential palace.
Demonstrations in Asia were more limited. In Tokyo, protesters gathered for the abuse of a Kurdish man they say was stopped by police as they drove while driving and were thrown to the ground. The organizers also expressed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. “I want to show that there is racism in Japan now,” said 17-year-old Wakamba.
In Seoul, dozens of South Koreans and foreign activists gathered in the city. Some wore black masks with the slogan “I can’t breathe in Korean.”
In Bangkok, Thailand, due to restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic, activists staged an original online mobilization: they demanded the posting of photos and videos of people dressed in black, with their fists raised, holding placards explaining why. the movement. Thai “protesters” will gather for a teleconference tomorrow, Sunday, for eight minutes and 46 seconds – during which time Floyd remained motionless on the ground, with a police officer on his knees.