Hundreds of protesters gathered in London on Wednesday to demand justice after the death of George Floyd in the United States, including star John Star actor John Boyega , who delivered an angry speech. Despite the ban on rallies in effect due to the pandemic, protesters flocked to Hyde Park, before marching through central London. " No country is innocent ", " make racists fear again ", could be read on placards.
Read also: Death of George Floyd: Omar Sy protests in the United States and calls to demonstrate in France
" Let’s let the black brothers and sisters of the United States of America know that we are with them, " British actor John Boyega, who plays one of the leading roles in final episodes of the Star Wars saga . " I speak to you with my heart. I do not know if I will have a career after that but too bad, "he added, having to stop at times, visibly overwhelmed with emotion, calling for peaceful demonstrations.
The strong position of the actor was praised by his peers and made him become one of the leading figures of the Black Lives Matter movement. “ I love this man, ” director Rian Johnson wrote on Twitter, quickly joined by Mark Hamill: “ I have never been so proud of you John. I love you, dad . " JJ Abrams bounced back on the risks on his career of such speaking: " You KNOW that as long as I can continue working, I would always do it with you. Deep respect and love, my friend. "
Read also: Death of George Floyd: Spike Lee denounces police violence in a shocking short film
After shouting the name of George Floyd, who was honored in thunderous applause, the demonstrators, wearing umbrellas against the drizzle and masks against the coronavirus, knelt for three minutes. " This is an important movement ," said Lisa Ncuka, a 26-year-old student. " Everyone should be there to fight for equality ". " I believe in my rights as a black person ," she said, "it is not just our problem, it is everyone's problem ."
An anti-racism association called on the demonstrators to kneel on the ground in front of their homes at the end of the day so that they could express themselves while respecting the rules of physical distance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American killed by a white police officer, has sparked numerous protests around the world and an outbreak of violence in many cities in the United States.
Read also: A huge crowd in Houston to pay tribute to George Floyd
" I think what happened in the United States was outrageous, it was inexcusable, " said Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the weekly questions from MPs in the House of Commons, his first statement on the topic. " We have all seen it on our screens and I fully understand that people have exercised their right to demonstrate, " he added. " Obviously, I also believe that the demonstrations must take place in a legal and reasonable manner ".
Hundreds of people protested last Sunday to express outrage over the death of George Floyd to the U.S. Embassy in the British capital. 23 people were arrested. British police officials said on Wednesday they were standing alongside " those who are scandalized " by the death of George Floyd, while recalling the restrictions on assemblies due to the coronavirus. " We are also scandalized to see the violence and the damage which has occurred since in many American cities ," they add in this statement published on the website of the National Council of Chiefs of Police.
Read also: United States: protesters return to the White House
Highlighting the British police tradition of working in harmony with the population, police officials highlight their efforts to combat racism and discrimination. However, in October 2015, a report by an independent think tank, Runnymede, estimated that “ systemic and institutional racism ” persisted in Great Britain.