Protests over the death of George Floyd have swept across the globe with demonstrations from Poland to New Zealand in solidarity with US demonstrators caught up in violent riots.
Thousands rallied outside the US embassies in London, Copenhagen and Berlin, chanting ‘I can’t breathe,’ the words Floyd gasped as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday.
They defied coronavirus lockdown and social distancing rules in Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Canada; Cardiff, Wales; and in Milan, Italy; to protest the latest African-American death in police custody in the States.
In Germany’s Bundesliga – Europe’s first top flight soccer league to get back into action amid the pandemic – players wrote messages under their shirts and, inspired by the NFL, ‘took a knee.’
England international Jadon Sancho was given a yellow card after revealing a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ shirt while celebrating his goal for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday and could face further sanction.
Dozens of American cities have been set ablaze over the last seven days in deadly clashes with police officers over the killing of Floyd, whose death is seen as a symbol of systemic police brutality against African-Americans.
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BERLIN, GERMANY: Black Lives Matter demonstrators outside the Brandenburg Gate in Germany’s capital, holding sings like, ‘Justice can’t wait,’ in solidarity with US action over the death of George Floyd
MILAN, ITALY: A flashmob of protesters hold their hands around their necks with signs saying, ‘I can’t breathe,’ outside the consulate of United States of America
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: People gather for a Black Lives Matter demonstration in front of the US Embassy
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Some 4,000 New Zealand protesters demonstrate against the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd in a Black Lives Matter protest
MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY: Marcus Thuram of Borussia Moenchengladbach ‘takes a knee’ after scoring against FC Union Berlin at Borussia Park on Sunday
MASHHAD, IRAN: Demonstrators lit candles and put up posters for George Floyd. Iranian leaders have cynically criticised Donald Trump’s ‘racism’ and tweeted their support for #BlackLivesMatter.
TORONTO, CANADA: A man screams at police as protesters march to highlight the deaths in the U.S. of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and of Toronto’s Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who died after falling from an apartment building while police officers were present
TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON, ENGLAND: Hundreds of demonstrators were packed into Trafalgar Square on Sunday, chanting ‘I can’t breathe,’ the words Floyd was heard gasping as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis
WASHINGTON, DC, USA: Demonstrators flipping a car over and smashing its class windows during a protest near the White House on Sunday night
The protests around the world were comparatively peaceful, although in London protesters outside the gates of Downing Street chanted, ‘F**k the police.’
One of those chanting was waving the black and red flag of Antifa (anti-fascist). Donald Trump has accused the militant left-wingers of fomenting anarchist violence during the riots in the States.
Twenty-three were arrested in the capital: three for breaching coronavirus legislation, two for assaulting officers and others for a range of offences including possession of an offensive weapon and breaches of COVID legislation.
Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators also packed the lawns outside Cardiff Castle and in St Peter’s Square in Manchester they flocked with placards which said: ‘The UK is not innocent.’
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday appealed for the US not to ‘tear itself apart’ and said that the Floyd case was ‘very distressing’.
But he insisted he would not comment on the backlash against Donald Trump’s response to a wave of furious protests across the US, merely saying he wanted the country to ‘come back together.’
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was vocal in the crowd in Auckland during Monday’s demonstration
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: An estimated 4,000 protesters gathered for the Black Lives Matter march, while other events happened in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Many protesters wore face masks during the peaceful demonstrations which united a broad mix of Kiwis in support of justice for George Floyd
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Demonstrators held up signs reading ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘no justice no peace’ as chants echoed through the city on Monday afternoon
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: About 4,000 people protested in New Zealand on Tuesday to demand justice for African-American man George Floyd, killed in the US city of Minneapolis by police including a white officer who knelt on his neck as he died
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Demonstrators flooded the streets with hand made signs in protest against Mr Floyd’s death in police custody
VANCOUVER, CANADA: Ruby Lewis, 17, holds a sign reading “I Can’t Breathe” as thousands of people gather for a peaceful demonstration in support of George Floyd and protest against racism, injustice and police brutality, in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, CANADA: Two men get into a brief scuffle after the man, in white, asked the other, bottom, to stop vandalizing a building, as thousands of people gathered to demonstrate against George Floyd’s death
TORONTO, CANADA: People scream at police outside of Toronto police headquarters as protesters march to highlight the deaths in police custody in the US
TORONTO, CANADA: People scream at police outside of Toronto police headquarters as protesters march to highlight the deaths in police custody in the US
TORONTO, CANADA: Black Lives Matter protesters joined thousands across the world in spontaneous marches over the weekend
Raab appeals for US not to ‘tear itself apart’ over ‘distressing’ Floyd case
Asked about Donald Trump’s response, Dominic Raab told Sky: ‘I’m not going to start commenting on the commentary or indeed the press statements that other world leaders make, or indeed the US president.
‘Footage of what happened to George Floyd was very distressing, as has been the scenes across America of the rioting and some of the violence.
‘And what we do know is that the lead suspect has now been charged with murder, there is a federal review and we want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions and American come together.’
Later he told the BBC: ‘I’ve long kept to the self-imposed guidance not to comment on what President Trump says or indeed other world leaders, it is not really what my job is.’
Mr Raab said he wanted to see the US ‘come back together not tear itself apart over this, and of course that is a very distressing and upsetting case’.
BLM, which has become an international group after it launched seven years ago in response to African-American deaths in police custody, was successful on Sunday in mobilising thousands throughout the world.
In New Zealand protesters gathered across the North and South Islands in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
BLM protests in Australia were cancelled, however, over fears of violence.
Nigerian-New Zealand musician, Mazbou Q, who organised the protest, said the gatherings were not just about the death of Floyd.
‘The ongoing persecution of the black community is an ongoing phenomenon. The same white supremacy which has led to disproportionate killings of black people in the US exists here in New Zealand,’ he told the crowd.
‘We pride ourselves on being a nation of empathy, kindness and love. But the silence from the government and the media does not reflect that at all. In fact, it makes us complicit.’
Nigerian-born mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya was one of about 4,000 demonstrators who gathered in Auckland
In Christchurch, where 51 people were killed by a self-proclaimed white supremacist last year, one speaker, Josephine Varghese, told the crowd: ‘We demand racial and economic justice. Black lives matter, indigenous lives matter, Muslim lives matter.’
In London one demonstrator said that the protests were ‘very important because it is sending a clear message that we have had enough racial injustice in our country’.
US EMBASSY, LONDON, ENGLAND: A woman is led away by police during a Black Lives Matter protest outside the US Embassy in London
DOWNING STREET, LONDON, ENGLAND: Armed police officers guard the gates of Downing Street where hundreds of protesters were seen holding placards, as well as an Antifa (anti-fascist) flag
US EMBASSY, LONDON, ENGLAND: A man wearing a protective face mask kneels in front of police officers during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd near the U.S. Embassy
LONDON, ENGLAND: People carrying banners gather during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in USA
CARDIFF, WALES: Protesters outside Cardiff Castle in Wales today to show solidarity with the demonstrators in the United States
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Protesters gather in Manchester today to demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday
LONDON, ENGLAND: People gather during a spontaneous Black Lives Matter march through central London to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON, ENGLAND: People hold placards as they join a spontaneous Black Lives Matter march at Trafalgar Square to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
LONDON, ENGLAND: Protesters react as a woman screams in pain as she is arrested and led off by police near the US embassy in London on Sunday
Isabelle Orsini, 20, originally from New York, said: ‘The US obviously has a much deeper and darker history of black discrimination compared to the UK. The reason people are so angry is because this is reopening wounds that go back hundreds of years.
‘It is very important that we do whatever it takes to tell our government that racism will not be tolerated.’
After marching on the US Embassy, they crossed back over the Thames before gathering at the base of Grenfell Tower where 72 mainly black and ethnic minority people died in a 2017 fire.
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: A protester holds a sign saying, ‘Stop white supremacy!’ during demonstrations in Switzerland on Monday
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Activists hold up placards and carry a banner as they take part in a Black Lives Matter protest on Monday against the recent death of George Floyd
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Demonstrators holding placards saying, ‘White silence kills’ and ‘Stop white supremacy,’ march through the city on Monday
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Demonstrators taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest on Monday in solidarity with those in the United States
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Hundreds of protesters marching under a bridge in Zurich today as the world reacts to the latest African-American death in police custody
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Activists marching through the city centre on Monday as Europe shows solidarity with the United States
A reverend at a church on Trafalgar Square, where the protest started, said she was ‘very sympathetic’ towards those marching but expressed some concern about how close they were.
Reverend Sally Hitchiner, associate vicar at St Martin-in-the-Fields, said: ‘It’s showing there are people in the UK who care passionately about the situation in the US.
‘Clearly they’re not following lockdown and social distancing, but I think there’s a huge amount of passion there and that’s overriding their concerns.
‘It’s an issue that requires passion but at the same time there’s a huge amount of risk in what they’re doing.’
BERLIN, GERMANY: A woman holds a megaphone during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, at the Brandenburg Gate
PADERBORN, GERMANY: Jadon Sancho of Dortmund lifts his shirt to reveal a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ message after scoring the second goal during the Bundesliga match between SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena on Sunday. Sancho was shown a yellow card for the act and could face further sanction
BERLIN, GERMANY: Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement hold placards and banners to protest against the police brutality in the US following the death of George Floyd
PADERBORN, GERMANY: Achraf Hakimi of Dortmund lifts his shirt to reveal a ‘Justice for George Floyd’ message after scoring during the Bundesliga match between SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena on Sunday
KRAKOW, POLAND: A woman lights a candle to place in a small memorial for George Floyd in front of the United States of America Consulate on Sunday
BARCELONA, SPAIN: A man wearing a face mask walks past graffiti in memory of George Floyd by Italian street artist TVBoy
BERLIN, GERMANY: Children taking part in a rally against racism on Sunday following the recent death of George Floyd in the USA
Lat night chaos continued to unfold in cities across the US with more than 50 Secret Service agents injured in clashes with protesters in Washington DC and a church torched close to the White House.
Tens of thousands of people gathered as the National Guard was deployed to over half the states in the country on Sunday for protests that have seen 4,100 people get arrested this weekend alone.
But even the threat of heavy officer presence didn’t deter protesters in Philadelphia from hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, crowds to raid stores including Coach and Chanel in New York and San Francisco, and fires being ignited mere feet from the White House.
Late Sunday in Washington D.C. a fire was set ablaze in the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House.
In the last seven days hundreds of protests have unfolded in at least 145 cities across the country as people gather in outrage over the horrifying death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in the custody of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day.
Over 1,000 protesters gathered around a fire ignited near the White House on Sunday evening
Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening
The historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC was set ablaze in protests on Sunday. Police form a line in front of the church late Sunday
The demonstrations have marked unparalleled civil unrest in the US that hasn’t been seen since the 1968 assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At least 40 cities have imposed curfews in light of the riots and violence and National Guard members have been activated in 26 states and Washington, DC.
Washington state governor Jay Inslee was among those to send for the National Guard after vandalism and looting in multiple cities, calling the riots ‘illegal and dangerous’ but adding they should not ‘detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd’.
In total at least five people have been killed in protest violence after gunfire rang out in Detroit and Indianapolis and in Omaha a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.
Two Atlanta police officers were fired Sunday after video emerged showing them using excessive force during protests this weekend, including tasing and dragging two college students from a car.
St. John’s cathedral, which was opened in 1816, was set ablaze Sunday night in the nation’s capital, but it’s not clear how the fire started. The fire was put out shortly after 11pm.
A protester raises their first near a fire outside the White House as protests engulfed the country for another night
Police and Secret Service pictured standing guard in front of the White House as protesters edge closer on Sunday
Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd
A fire was also set in Lafayette Park, located just in front of the White House, where a protester set a US flag on fire sending smoke into the air as more than 1,000 gathered and raised their fists in solidarity.
Fury erupted even as it neared curfew in Washington DC and as police fired tear gas and pepper spray amid blazes in the capital.
Trump was rushed to White House bunker as protests raged outside
Donald Trump was rushed to a White House bunker by Secret Service agents on Friday as protesters clashed with police outside, it has emerged.
An administration official and a Republican close to the White House both confirmed that Trump had been taken to safety after the George Floyd protests reached Washington.
It was not clear whether First Lady Melania Trump and the couple’s 14-year-old son, Barron, joined the president in the bunker.
‘The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions,’ said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
The underground bunker was where then-Vice President Dick Cheney was taken on September 11, 2001 as the terror attacks unfolded. President George W. Bush was in Florida when he learned of the attacks.
There were fears that one of the planes was aiming for the White House, which led the Secret Service to seek to protect Cheney.
In the years since 9/11, the bunker has been fortified to withstand the impact of a jetliner crashing into the White House.
Before the blaze at the church broke out church officials said they were thankful that the church wasn’t hit by protests the day before.
‘We are fortunate that the damage to the buildings is limited,’ Rev. Rob Fischer, the rector of the church, said earlier on Sunday. He said that that same morning church officials had secured its valuables.
In Manhattan a line of cops armed with plastic shields and batons were seen storming into a crowd of protesters on Sunday evening amid growing agitation.
A circle of eight cops was seen gathering around one protester, flinging him to the ground and arresting him. Nearby also in Manhattan a car was sent up in flames Sunday evening, leaving demonstrators scrambling.
In New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter Chiara de Blaio was arrested Saturday night alongside protesters in Greenwich Village for unlawful assembly and was later released, police said.
On Sunday stores across all boroughs were ransacked, including a Chanel in Soho and a Coach store in Midtown.
Around a dozen people were seen forcing entry into the Chanel located on Spring and Wooster after 11pm. One man was spotted leaving with four bags, as per the New York Post.
Looters pictured running out of a vandalized Coach store in Manhattan on Sunday
Looters in New York pictured leaving a broken into store in Manhattan after ransacking its merchandise Sunday
Stronger together: Activists pictured arm in arm as they march to the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday
A man in a Spiderman costume raises his fist in solidarity with protesters with the Freedom Tower shining in the back during protests in Brooklyn Sunday evening
Two men fleeing the store were arrested down the block by cops who arrived two minutes after the break in.
In Los Angeles the county sheriff said people were out on the streets ‘acting like terrorists’ following a day that saw peaceful protests alongside widespread looting and store raids.
‘The peaceful [protesters]… tend to remain peaceful but what’s embedded within them are people that are right now, they’re just acting like terrorists, trying to instill fear, damage property and loot,’ Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said to press Sunday.
‘There’s no lawful protesters left anymore. Everybody who’s here is just trying to do damage,’ he added.