Sydney, London, Montreal, Paris ... Braving the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of indignant demonstrators began to rally, Saturday June 6, across the planet, to denounce the racial inequalities and police brutality that led on the death of George Floyd, in the United States.
Multiple rallies are planned during the weekend in tribute to this American black man whose death provoked a historic protest movement that spilled over the borders of his country and rekindled aspirations for real change.
George Floyd's uncle at France 24: "We must unite to demand change"
High Aboriginal imprisonment rate in Australia
Australia was the first to kick off global outrage on Saturday. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated across the country, brandishing "I can't breathe" banners, referring to the phrase spoken by George Floyd, whose neck was obstructed for nearly nine minutes by his knee. a white police officer who arrested him for a minor crime.
Underserved by the government's call to stay at home because of the health crisis, Australian organizers say that this case has many echoes in their country.
They said they wanted to denounce the very high rate of imprisonment among Aborigines, and the deaths - more than 400 over the past thirty years - of members of this community while they were detained by the police.
In Sydney, the parade was authorized a few minutes before it started, by a court decision revoking a previous ban. "The fact that they tried to stop us from parading makes people want to do it even more," said Jumikah Donovan, among the crowd.
#Sydney: more than 50,000 people at the #BlackLivesMatter rally despite the authorities' ban on the demonstration! pic.twitter.com/lpzca5miTV- Cerise Paulet (@CerisePaulet) June 6, 2020
In the UK, anger at "camouflaged racism"
In London (United Kingdom), a rally is scheduled for midday in front of the Parliament, then in front of the American embassy on Sunday, while the government asked the British to refrain from demonstrating.
"I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and the coronavirus remains a real threat", pleaded, on Friday, the Minister of Health, Matt Hancock. "So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not participate in large gatherings, including demonstrations, of more than six people", limit set for gatherings outside during confinement.
Several rallies have been held in the British capital over the past week, sometimes marked by incidents with the police. Incidents that have brought back the anger of people of color towards "camouflaged racism" and the police "abuse" that they say is rife in their country.
Londoners protest against racism after George Floyd's death https://t.co/AEHgTwG7j8- Reuters (@Reuters) June 6, 2020
Rallies prohibited in Paris
In Paris, two calls to demonstrate on Saturday against police violence, to "amplify the international movement of solidarity against the impunity of the police", were banned because of the health crisis.
Objects of recurrent polemics in recent years, accusations of police violence coupled with those of racism have rebounded in the wake of the global indignation aroused by the death of George Floyd. A rally is planned from 3 p.m. in front of the American Embassy, located in the heart of the French capital and in the Elysée Palace district; the second is scheduled from 5 p.m. on the Champ de Mars esplanade.
Families of victims of police violence united in a group invited to "take a walk on the Champ-de-Mars, respecting barrier gestures, to take a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower" with the hashtags #LaisseNousRespirer, #JusticePourToutesLesVictimes and #No justice, no peace.
These calls to demonstrate "were launched on social networks (...) without any prior declaration to the prefecture of police," said the prefect of Paris in a statement, recalling that the state of health emergency currently prevailing in France prohibits any gathering of more than ten people in public space.
Pursuant to the decree of May 31, 2020 relating to the state of health emergency, the Prefect of Police took the decision to prohibit protest rallies on Saturday June 6, 2020 on the Champ-de-Mars.
See our press release for more details👇 pic.twitter.com/xhVIJpwp2N
Already on Tuesday, a prohibited demonstration had gathered in Paris at least 20,000 people at the call of the family support committee of Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in 2016 after his arrest by gendarmes in Beaumont-sur-Oise (Vald-d'Oise).
Calls for assembly were also launched in other cities in France.
One of the largest protests ever held in Washington
Epicenter of anger, fueled by new examples of police brutality, the United States also expects massive rallies on Saturday, a day that will also be marked by a new ceremony in memory of George Floyd.
Washington could notably experience one of the largest demonstrations ever organized in the federal capital of the United States, said the police chief of the city, as the country is preparing to live a 12th consecutive day of rallies against the racial discrimination and the methods of the American police.
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