This week, London will unite in protest.
Protests against police brutality and racial inequality have swept around the US and the world in the past week, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Video footage from the incident, which shows a white officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes – sadly, just the latest in a long line of incidents which have seen black men and women dying in police custody – has sparked international outrage, resulting in thousands across the world joining in protest. London saw its first protests over the weekend, with a demonstration in Peckham and a ‘Kneel For Floyd’ event in Trafalgar Square (which then marched to the US Embassy in Battersea), and more peaceful protests are planned for this week.
Trafalgar Square in London right now, standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and protestors across the world. pic.twitter.com/5sYlXePcpv
— Ian Mantgani (@mant_a_tangi) May 31, 2020
First up is a peaceful protest in Hyde Park on June 3 at 1pm, at which protesters are being encouraged to wear red. On June 6 at 1pm, another peaceful protest is planned for Parliament Square, and finally there will be another demonstration outside the US Embassy on June 7 at 2pm. Londoners are invited to band together in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, helping to call attention to the ongoing scourge of racial inequality, and aiming to educate all of us on what we can do to change society for the better.
— ⚢ | #BLM (@shayzoya) May 30, 2020
Protest organisers are reminding participants to follow the current social distancing guidelines and respect the intention of the event, which is to remain peaceful at all times. Anyone wishing to partake is advised to bringing water, snacks and cash, wear a face mask, make loved ones aware of your whereabouts, and ensuring you’re two metres apart from other protesters whilst you’re there. For obvious reasons, anyone displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the demonstrations. It’s important to note that the planned protests haven’t been called by the UK chapter of Black Lives Matter, who are deliberating on their own course of action, but they have tweeted legal guidance for anyone wishing to attend.
We have no affiliation with the #LDNBLM group and any of the BLM London accounts. We are currently discussing the implications of calling a mass march in the middle of a pandemic that is killing us the most. Solidarity with our fam & siblings across the Globe. ✊🏾
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) May 30, 2020
Racism is an issue which respects no international boundaries, and as such, the London protests will be as much a demonstration against widespread racial inequality and discrimination in the UK as it is about the police violence in the US. If you aren’t keen on attending the protests but still wish to help, you can take action by donating to George Floyd’s memorial fund (to help support his children and pay for funeral costs), or sign a number of petitions which urge the local authorities to file charges against the officers involved in his death. If you do plan on attending the parade and making your voice heard, remember to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, demonstrate peacefully, and stay safe.
Also published on Medium.