Street protests demanding justice for the slain George Floyd and condemning American police brutality and endemic racism in the United States continued in London and broke out in several other cities in the United Kingdom Sunday. Protests drawing thousands of demonstrators erupted in Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark also on Sunday. Protests in other major world cities are expected this week. The U.K. protests began Saturday in Peckham, south London. The Sunday rallies drew thousands of angry Londoners brandishing signs declaring, "I can't breathe," "Say his name: George Floyd," and "Justice for George Floyd."
As protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25 sweep the U.S., people around the world are rallying to end police brutality. Some marched to U.S. embassies or consulates in solidarity, while others tied the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. to their own struggles with racial inequality and police violence. Some protests numbered a few dozen, while others had tens of thousands of marchers. Many, like their counterparts in the U.S., faced police forces that deployed tear gas. In Paris, at least 15,000 people defied a coronavirus-related ban on protests and flooded the streets on Tuesday evening.
Thousands of people protested in London and Berlin on Sunday in solidarity with protesters in the United States demonstrating against the death of a Black man, shown gasping for breath in a video clip, as a white policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis. Chanting "no justice, no peace", and waving placards with the words "How many more?" at Trafalgar Square, the protesters ignored UK government rules banning crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic. Police did not stop them. Demonstrators then marched to the US embassy, where a long line of officers surrounded the building. Several hundred sat in the street and waved placards.
Several thousand people marched in New Zealand's largest city on Monday to protest the killing of George Floyd in the U.S. as well as to stand up against police violence and racism in their own country. Many people around the world have watched with growing unease at the civil unrest in the U.S. after the latest in a series of police killings of black men and women. Floyd died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck until he stopped breathing. The officer was fired and charged with murder. The protesters in Auckland marched to the U.S. Consulate, where they kneeled.
America is on the defensive worldwide over the murder of George Floyd and all that the killing implies about race, values, and leadership--not to mention common decency--in the United States. On Sunday, thousands defied a government lockdown in Britain to march through the streets of London--from the famed Trafalgar Square, past the Houses of Parliament, along and across the River Thames, to the U.S. Embassy--to protest the murder of an unarmed black man by white police in Minneapolis, four thousand miles away. "The death of George Floyd has rightly ignited fury and anguish not just in the USA but around the world," London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted. "No country, city, police force or institution can be complacent about racism and the impact this has." He also warned about the dangers of infection from COVID-19 at crowded protests.