9 powerful pictures from London's protest against the death of George Floyd
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London - Tens of thousands of people
chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police" and "black
lives matter" gathered in central London on Wednesday to protest
against racism after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck
for nearly nine minutes while he lay handcuffed on the ground in
Minneapolis on May 25.
His death drew outrage across a nation that is politically
and racially divided five months before a presidential election,
reigniting protests that have flared repeatedly in recent years
over police killings of black Americans.
Since then anti-racism rallies have been held in cities
around the world, from Paris to Nairobi.
In London's Hyde Park, many of the protesters wore face
masks and were dressed in red. They chanted "George Floyd" and
"Black lives matter".
Protesters march as they take part in a demonstration in London, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
"This has been years in the coming, years and years and
years of white supremacy," 30-year-old project manager Karen
Koromah told Reuters.
"We’ve come here with our friends to sound the alarm, to
make noise, to dismantle supremacist systems," Koromah said,
cautioning that unless there was action the United Kingdom would
face similar problems to those in the United States.
"I don’t want to start crying," she said of the images from
the United States. "It makes my blood boil."
A man reacts from his car in Park Lane in London during a "Black Lives Matter" protest following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis. Picture: Hannah McKay/Reuters
Some protesters waved banners with slogans such as: "The UK
is not innocent: less racist is still racist", "Racism is a
global issue" and “If you aren’t angry you aren’t paying
Prime Minister Johnson said on Wednesday that black lives
mattered and that he supported the right to protest in a lawful
and socially-distanced way.
"Of course, black lives matter and I totally understand the
anger, the grief that is felt not just in America but around the
world and in our country as well," he told parliament.
Protesters take part in a demonstration in Hyde Park, London, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
British police chiefs said they were appalled by the way
Floyd lost his life and by the violence which followed in U.S.
cities but called on potential protesters in the United Kingdom
to work with police as coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
But in Hyde Park, near Speakers' Corner, many cautioned that
racism was still a British problem too.
A man and a woman hold hands aloft in Hyde Park in London during a "Black Lives Matter" protest following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis. Picture: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
"My mum was a protester in apartheid and that was 30 to 40
years ago - it’s pretty disappointing that we have had to come
out today to protest the same thing today they were protesting
how many years ago," Roz Jones, 21, a student from London told
Jones came to Britain as a small child with his mother from
"It’s a systematic issue all over the world. It’s not like
this is just about someone dying, we live our lives made awfully
aware of our race. That’s not right, that’s not the natural
order," he said.
Protesters take part in a demonstration, in Hyde Park, London after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA via AP
The Hyde Park rally is the second major protest in Britain
after hundreds gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Sunday
before marching to the US embassy.