In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody, Black Lives Matter protests have sparked across the United States, soon joined by those around the world. Though one officer has been arrested and charged with murder following Floyd's death, the three other attending officers have yet to be charged.
In London, Black Lives Matter demonstrations have taken place since Saturday (May 30), and today (June 3), thousands of protesters took to Hyde Park, where they were joined by Star Wars actor John Boyega.
Boyega gave a speech to the crowds, saying: "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**k that. 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.
“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,” @johnboyega just told #BlackLivesMatter protesters in London’s Hyde Park pic.twitter.com/P49cbwIp6P— Haley Ott (@haleyjoelleott) June 3, 2020
"Every black person in here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black. So none of you out there, all those protesters on the other side, protesting against what we want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve, burn you, this is so vital.
"I need you to understand how painful this shit is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case anymore, that was never the case anymore."
Boyega has been praised for his speaking out against racism across his social media platforms. Other stars have been taking to the streets too, including Jamie Foxx and Michael B Jordan, while many have donated to various relief funds.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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