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Thousands Take A Knee In London During Black Lives Matter Protest

Thousands Take A Knee In London During Black Lives Matter Protest

Thousands of people took a knee in London's Hyde Park today during the Black Lives Matter protest.

The demonstration comes more than a week after George Floyd, an unarmed black father, died while in police custody.

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Derek Chauvin, a police officer who was videoed pressing his knee down on Floyd's neck despite desperate calls for him to stop, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Among those who gathered in London today (3 June) for the demonstration was Star Wars actor John Boyega, who stood up and gave an impassioned speech to the crowd in Hyde Park.

The tearful 28-year-old told the crowd that it was time for people to come together and overcome the prejudices that permeate society.

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He said: "We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.

"I'm speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f*** that.

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​Thousands March Through Streets Of London And Manchester For Black Lives Matter Protest
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"Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don't know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don't know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we're going to make sure that won't be an alien thought to our young ones."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He added: Black lives have always mattered, we have always been important, we have always meant something, we have always succeeded, regardless. And now is the time. I ain't waiting. I ain't waiting."

Since Mr Floyd's death, the incident has triggered a wave of protests across the globe, including in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the father-of-one was killed.

The 'take a knee' protests are inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 chose to kneel during the American national anthem to call attention to racial inequality and police brutality.

Earlier this week, a petition demanding 'justice for Mr Floyd' became the biggest Change.org US petition of all time.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The post, written by someone who had set up the campaign called Kellen, said: "Over 5.8 million people have signed this petition, which means this is now the biggest Change.org US petition of all time. And it's working. One of the four men responsible for this horrific murder is in custody.

"Our message is loud and clear: we will not stop until there is justice for George.

"District Attorney Mike Freeman needs to hear from us now to make sure the other three involved officers are held accountable. Five million voices can't be silenced and I want to share all your stories with him."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]