As protests in response to the killing of George Floyd continue in the United States for a third week, KTLA reported, people all over the world have expressed their solidarity with the cause.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Milan, Italy to support the Black Lives Matter movement — some protestors’ signs in Milan read “No justice, no peace” and “Justice for George”, according to Vox.
In Belgium, a crowd of about 10,000 people came together at the Palace of Justice, many carrying banners with the phrase “Black Lives Matter – Belgium to Minneapolis,” Forbes reported.
Most recently, a group of anti-racism protesters in Bristol, England pulled down a statue of Edward Colston that was erected in 1895 to commemorate his philanthropy in recognition of the fact that he was a notorious slave trader, according to Forbes.
Footage and photos of the moments after the statue toppled to the ground captured thousands of local residents in pure ecstasy and excitement. Images began surfacing on social media of protesters appearing to kneel on the neck of the statue for eight minutes, of course alluding to George Floyd’s tragic death in Minneapolis.
While Floyd’s death has once again laid bare America’s deep systemic issues with racial injustice especially toward Black Americans, political leaders from around the world have begun responding to it as well.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference addressing the events transpiring in the United States this past Friday.
“Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau said, according to the Guardian. “Anti-Black racism — racism — is real. It’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada and we know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-Black racism every single day.”
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, released a statement on May 29 to the African Union.
“Mahamat strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” his statement said. “He further urges the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”
Floyd’s killing triggered something that goes far beyond the United States and has instead brought attention to the global issue of racism, oppression and abuse of power.
Of course, some critics, most notably those in China and Iran, have used Floyd’s death as a means to divert attention away from their own internal problems, saying it just further revealed the hypocrisy of the Trump administration, according to the New York Times.
“Beijing could not have hoped for a better gift,” French journalist Pierre Haski said, according to the New York Times. “The country that designates China as the culprit of all evils is making headlines around the world with the urban riots.”
However, in many other countries, Floyd’s killing was a catalyst for deep introspection and outrage towards their own domestic issues with systemic persecution.
In France, civilians are protesting against the persistent police violence targeting minority groups, particularly in rougher suburban areas, according to Vox. In Australia, protests in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane focused primarily on the long-standing mistreatment of indigenous Australians. Over 400 indigenous Australians have died in police custody since 1991, and not a single police officer was ever convicted, Vox also reported.
From Brazil to Syria, people over the past two weeks have begun to rise up not just to honor George Floyd, but to call for action against the deep-rooted racism that has plagued not just the United States but the entire world.