Thousands of protesters took to streets in the United Kingdom with placards reading 'there is a virus greater than Coronavirus and it's called racism,' in solidarity with the 'I can't breathe' movement of the US.
On Saturday, protesters ignored the COVID-19 lockdown and participated in this protest as a part of the global Black Lives Matter protests after the custodial killing of George Floyd. London's Parliament Square was filled with protesters, including other cities such as Newcastle, Manchester, Leicester, and Sheffield, reports BBC.
George Floyd's death sparked a chain of protests across the United States, later extending to other countries worldwide. The 46-year-old man was pinned down to the ground by a white police officer Derek Chauvin and knelt on his neck for not less than eight minutes when his arrest happened in Minneapolis of Minnesota State, on May 25. This led to Chauvin being charged with second-degree murder and other police officers present during the act are also facing charges.
No Justice, No Peace
UK protests happened at the time of lockdown as the protesters felt convinced that racism was a virus greater than Coronavirus, as some placards read. Most of the protesters used face coverings and masks. A minute of silence was observed by the protesters, while they took a knee along with holding their fists in the air. After this, they chanted "no justice, no peace" and "black lives matter".
UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel, understanding people's desire to protest as their right urged people not to join the George Floyd protests as they 'must put public health first,' in the background of the coronavirus pandemic, reported Standard.
Chaos and Horses
A video footage shows police patrolling on horseback during the march in London, protesters started to flee after police horses began charging, at London's Whitehall. One police officer got dismounted when she hit a traffic light, this made her horse run free. The officer required hospital treatment as she fell from her horse, and nine others got injured, police told.
Some protesters were spotted as they launched projectiles, even their bikes at police horses outside Downing Street adding to the chaos, reported Daily Mail. The incident invited tweets criticizing the rioters and also the police, one of them read, "London protests were SO peaceful today & I was there for 5 hours. I saw no violence at all. Why do a small group have to ruin it? Now these images of the horse are all the media will report".
Another read, "Isn't using police horses a tad outdated? We literally have cars now. Horses do not belong in protests with huge crowds of people" A tweet by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan read "I stand with you and I share your anger and your pain" but a small minority of people who got violent "let down this important cause".