Saturday 6th June 2020
For the last week the protests round the world have become increasingly large despite the lockdowns, and proliferating.
It started 2 days after George Floyd’s death – a small march through Peckham by an association affiliated to BLM (though BLM UK discouraged participation due to social distancing and C-19 risk). There was also a small gaggle of people outside the US Embassy.
The next day it grew immeasurably as the weekend hit, with a march from Trafalgar Square crossing the river into Vauxhall for the embassy.
The next day more of the same, with a few hundred in Hyde Park too. Scuffles broke out in Downing St, the Prime Minister’s residence. It had all come midway through his leadership scandal.
Wednesday’s Hyde Park gathering, organised by the splinter group #BLMLondon was the biggest yet.
John Boyega made emotional speeches outside Parliament and in the park. “Black men: it starts with you..”
When police took a knee outside Downing Street, the crowd roared their approval
Arrests were made in scuffles in the evening there, after end of the march.
The protests have continued throughout the week, and now larger than in American cities:
Every day making their way to the barricaded US Embassy.
A policewoman was injured after a line of mounted police charged the crowd in Whitehall (she hit a traffic light).
Across the country the same has been happening.
Cardiff (one of the world’s first protests)
Bristolians tore down a statue of a notorious art patron, responsible for 80,000 trafficked into slavery. Taken from the city square and dumped into a local canal:
Even in small cities and towns, from Oxford to Oxon.
This is Shrewsbury
In Watford heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua was spotted in his local rally
Cities across the nation lit their public buildings in purple as a sign of solidarity to the cause:
Including police stations
In 1993 a Public Enquiry found the UK police force ‘institutionally racist’ after they botched the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence (a racist killing by a far right gang), which allowed his killers to walk free.
The Lammy Enquiry in 2017 found Black people are a whopping 9x more likely to be stopped and searched, 3x more likely to be arrested and 5x more likely to have force used against them. The Angiolini Review on the police in the same year found:
“The stereotyping of young black men as ‘dangerous, violent and volatile’ is a longstanding trope that is ingrained in the mind of many in our society. “
There were no less than 200 demonstrations across the country in the weekend alone.
Other cities round the world have been doing the same.
Berlin (also one of the first cities to protest after Minneapolis)
Tokyo was the first city to march, the very morning after Floyd’s death
Even in Iran makeshift street shrines have appeared and university students have rallied on their campuses.
Paris, predictably, is burning.
Auckland, New Zealand
In Australia BLM has particular resonance with a history of police brutality against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait population
Even in Khartoum, Sudan
And the tiny Pacific island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas
After people joined a one woman protest
A one man protest in Wellington, Florida too.
He had the police called on him: