The horrific death of George Floyd, another in a too-long line of senseless killings of unarmed Black citizens by a law enforcement officer, was followed by three days of waiting while officials conducted an “investigation” despite all of America having been united in its condemnation of the killing as an outright murder.
For the Black community, this is an ongoing horror. They’ve been here before. For many others in America, the senseless killing of George Floyd has been a wake-up call. I’ve seen protests and riots in my lifetime, but not like this — this feels bigger. Protests have formed in at least 140 American cities, and people who have never spoken openly about race or police brutality are speaking up about these issues for the first time. I hesitate to say “this time it feels different,” but… it does. It feels different. I’m even seeing people in my social feeds who’ve always been “pro-police” finally admitting that policing in this country is in need of a major overhaul.
Americans are not the only ones waking up. The unchecked use of excessive force against Black citizens by American law enforcement is so prevalent, so blatant, that it has captured the attention of people from around the world. Over the weekend, protests sprang up in Berlin, London, and even New Zealand. For those who still aren’t convinced of the gross inequities in our police system, this international show of solidarity should give them pause.
America is famous for its racist policing.
Monday in Amsterdam, thousands gathered to chant “Black Lives Matter” and raised their fists for one minute of silence for those who died from excessive police brutality.
A river of people filled the streets of London on Sunday, ignoring stay-at-home restrictions, chanting George Floyd’s name along with “I can’t breathe,” and “No justice, no peace.”
In Dublin, Ireland, folks marched in the streets shouting, “No justice, no peace.”
In Copenhagen, Denmark, “No justice, no peace.”
In Berlin, Germany, thousands gathered at the U.S. embassy to chant “Black Lives Matter.”
People flooded the streets of New Zealand, chanting “Black Lives Matter.”
In Perth, Australia, where Aboriginal Australians continue to suffer ongoing racism and police brutality, protesters gathered for hours in support of Black Lives Matter.
Massive crowds turned out in Vancouver in our neighbor to the north:
And in Syria, artists painted a stunning mural to honor George Floyd, with the phrases “I can’t breathe” and “No to racism” framing his face.
No to racism, indeed. Keep going. Keep doing the work.
The world is quite literally watching.
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