BLM around the world: Stunning aerial images show the global wave of protests following George Floyd’s death
The public killing of the African-American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis has sparked a massive wave of protests across the globe.
Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered together to protest against racism and police brutality.
In the US, the lifting of the coronavirus pandemic curfews was followed by colossal demonstrations. Many of the protesters are demanding radical reforms to the country’s criminal justice system. Demonstrators from other countries are also opposing and highlighting systemic racism and violent law enforcement in their own nations.
Stunning aerial images captured the protests across Europe, the United States, Australia, and Japan.
In Europe, enormous crowds of protesters emerged, ignoring the authorities’ warnings that demonstrations are illegal amid current coronavirus legislation, Independent reports.
Thousands of Parisians defied the police ban and gathered around the Eiffel Tower, where in 2016, the 24-year-old Frenchman Adama Traore was killed by police during a rally in Champ de Mars.
Meanwhile, in France’s southern port city of Marseilles, protesters hurled bottles and rocks at police officers. The policemen responded by firing tear gas and pepper spray at the rioters. This shocking scene happened after what had been an emotional yet peaceful demonstration.
At the time, in Berlin, Germany, police reported that 93 protesters were detained, mostly after the main demonstration which included over 15,000 people.
Massive protests also occurred in cities like Cologne, Budapest, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, and even Rome.
Demonstrators in Brazil took their riots to the streets of Recife, holding signs with the words ‘Vidas Negras Importam’, meaning ‘Black Lives Matter’. The protests in Recife followed the death of a five-year-old black boy, who was in the care of a white woman at the time.
In Seoul, South Korea, protesters turned out for the second consecutive day on Saturday, with signs reading ‘May George Floyd Rest In Peace’.
Solidarity was also shown in Hong Kong, where only around 20 people gathered outside the US consulate on Sunday after organizers called off the demonstration late on Saturday because of coronavirus restrictions. Quinland Anderson, a 28-year-old British citizen living in Hong Kong, said:
“It’s a global issue. We have to remind ourselves, despite all we see going on in the US and in the other parts of the world, black lives do indeed matter.”
There was also an online protest including some 300 people from Thailand and elsewhere on Sunday. Participants were penning ‘I can’t breathe’ messages on their arms while watching the footage of George Floyd’s last moments.
In the meantime, Tokyo rioters were furious at the alleged police abuse of a Turkish man. They were holding signs and placards reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice, No Peace’.
The Tokyo protesters were closely observed by police officers.
Australians also took part in the global demonstrations, with 20,000 people protesting in Sydney and other cities across the country on Saturday. They were demanding an end to the deaths of indigenous Australians in police custody. Mathias Cormann, the Australian Minister of Finance, dubbed protesters ‘incredibly selfish’ and ‘incredibly self-indulgent’, as they were defying COVID-19 restrictions.
On Saturday, protesters from South Africa marched from the US embassy in Pretoria to the President’s Office. Meanwhile, others were laying flowers and placards at Johannesburg’s US consulate. Some were bearing the names of those who have lost their lives in encounters with South African law enforcement.
In the UK, thousands of people were protesting in major cities such as London, Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield, Leicester, Bath, and Birmingham.
Many of the UK protests were peaceful, with demonstrators ‘taking the knee’ – a protest posture made famous by the American football star Colin Kaepernick. Others were laying face down on the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the length of the Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck before he passed away.
On Sunday, in a larger demonstration, rioters tore down a bronze statue of Edward Colston, a seventeenth-century slave trader.
In Watford, Anthony Joshua, a boxing heavyweight champion, urged the crowds to protest peacefully. Joshua advised protesters to ‘hit them where it hurts’, using boycotts and investing in black-owned businesses.