Demonstrations were held on Saturday in several cities around the world to condemn police violence and racial equality, ten days after George Floyd’s death in the United States.
Sydney, London, Montreal, Paris … Vintage of the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of annoyed protesters gathered on Saturday, June 6, across the planet to condemn the racial inequalities and police brutality that led to the death of George Floyd, in the United States.
Several gatherings are planned this weekend in tribute to this American black man whose death provoked a historic protest movement that spilled across the borders of his country and renewed ambitions for real change.
George Floyd’s uncle in France 24: “We must unite to demand change”
One of the biggest protests ever held in Washington
The epicenter of anger, fueled by new examples of police brutality, the United States also expected massive rallies on Saturday, a day that will also be marked by a new ceremony in memory of George Floyd.
Washington, Philadelphia, New York … Thousands of Americans demonstrated under a blazing sun, sometimes stopping to kneel on the ground. A dense crowd gathered in the US federal capital, on the streets leading to the White House but also near the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial.
It was in front of this impressive monument that Pastor Martin Luther King of Atlanta on August 28, 1963, in front of nearly 250,000 people launched “I Have a Dream” in a speech that had become a reference in the fight for civil rights.
“We are back here with a new hope message,” 31-year-old African American Deniece Laurent-Mantey told AFP.
Unlike this emblematic movement in the 1960s, or the other gatherings the capital used to host, the Saturday demonstrations did not center on an event or speech.
In total, more than a dozen collectives, many of whom spontaneously formed on social networks after George Floyd’s death, called to invade the capital’s streets.
On the impressive fence erected in front of Donald Trump’s residence, the heads of George Floyd, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, African Americans were all shown dead in the hands of US police in recent years.
From the White House, where he spends the weekend, Donald Trump continued his intense activity on Twitter without mentioning the demonstrations.
Competitions in Paris
In Paris, two calls were banned from demonstrating on Saturday against police violence to “strengthen the international solidarity movement against police impunity” due to the health crisis.
Despite this prefecture ban, about 5,500 people gathered on Saturday afternoon near the US Embassy in Paris, then in front of the Eiffel Tower, in tribute to George Floyd and to condemn police violence in France.
Subjects of recurring polemics in recent years, accusations of police violence in combination with racism have recovered in the wake of the global outrage caused by George Floyd’s death.
Families of victims of police violence joined in a group called to “take a walk on the Champ-de-Mars, respect the barrier gestures, take a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower” with hashtags #LaisseNousRespirer, #JusticePourToutesLesVictimes and #No justice no peace.
These calls to demonstrate “were launched on social networks (…) without any advance declaration to the police prefecture,” the Paris prefect said in a statement, recalling that the state of health currently prevailing in France bans all gatherings of more than ten people in the public space.
A total of 23,300 people demonstrated in France on Saturday, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.
According to the application of the decree of 31 May 2020 on the state of health, the police chief made the decision to ban protest meetings on Saturday 6 June 2020 at Champ-de-Mars.
See our press release for more information👇 pic.twitter.com/xhVIJpwp2N
– Police Prefecture (@prefpolice) June 5, 2020
Already on Tuesday, a banned demonstration had gathered in Paris at least 20,000 people at the call of the Family Support Committee of Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in 2016 following his arrest of gendarmes in Beaumont-sur-Oise (election-d).
Rally calls have also been launched in other cities in France.
High Aboriginal prison in Australia
Australia was the first to open the ball of global riots on Saturday. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated around the country and noticed “I can’t breathe” banners, referring to the phrase uttered by George Floyd, whose neck was blocked for nearly nine minutes by his knee. a white police officer who arrested him for a minor crime.
Uninterrupted by the government’s call to stay home because of the health crisis, Australian organizers say the case has found many echoes in their country.
They declared that they wanted to condemn the very high level of imprisonment among Aborigines and deaths – more than 400 in the last thirty years – by members of this community while under arrest by police.
In Sydney, the parade was approved a few minutes before it started, through a court decision to revoke a previous ban. “The fact that they tried to stop us from parading makes people want to do it even more,” Jumikah Donovan said among the crowd.
In the UK, anger is against “camouflaged racism”
In London (UK), a dinner contest was planned in front of Parliament, then in front of the US embassy on Sunday, when the government asked the British to refrain from demonstrating.
“I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and the corona virus is still a real threat,” Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Friday. “Please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations, of more than six people,” the limit set for collections outside during containment.
Several meetings have been held in the British capital over the past week, sometimes marked by incidents with the police. Incidents have regained people’s anger against “camouflaged racism” and police “abuse” which they claim is widespread in their country.
Tunisia, Belgium, Germany
A competition also took place in Tunisia where about 200 people demanded “justice” and to “breathe” before racism, such as “suffocation”.
“This plague is also present in Tunisia,” said an official of the Tunisian Association to support minorities, while migrants from sub-Saharan Africa often claim to be victims of verbal and physical abuse in the country.
In Liège, in eastern Belgium, 700 people defied the ban and took part in a march against racism, according to police.
Bayern Munich players, the championship leader, also showed their solidarity by warming up on Saturday with a T-shirt marked “Red card against racism – BlackLiveMatters”, before the Bundesliga match against Leverkusen.