Anti-racism protests in UK as officers face court in US over George Floyd death

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Anti-racism demonstrations have taken place across the UK as the four officers charged over the death of George Floyd in the US go on trial.

Protesters said they are determined to show that previous Black Lives Matter demonstrations were not just “a moment”.

Mass protests were staged across the world after footage emerged of officers kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, a black man, as he died.

The four men are charged over the death but it is understood they will push for separate trials in order to diminish their roles in the incident.

Protesters outside the US embassy in London as part of an anti-racism demonstration
Protesters outside the US embassy in London as part of an anti-racism demonstration (Yui Mok/PA)

Those involved were encouraged to “take the knee”, which has become a symbol of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Around 40 people gathered outside the US embassy, where the flag was flown at half mast to mark the anniversary of 9/11.

Protesters carried placards bearing slogans including “Racism is not born, it is taught. End systemic racism,” while passing motorists sounded their horns in solidarity.

Brian Richardson, a barrister and member of the Stand Up To Racism steering committee, said that racism in the UK also needed to be
“called out”.

Protesters outside the US embassy in London
Protesters with placards (Yui Mok/PA)

“The atmosphere is one of determination because I think a lot of people wondered whether the extraordinary outburst we saw in the first week (of the protests) was just a moment.

“We’re determined to show it’s not a moment and we’re going to continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and all the victims of injustice in America, but also to call out racism in this country.”

“Black Lives Matter is a global movement and we’re going to stand with our sisters and brothers in America, which is fantastically important.”

Black Lives Matter protests
The London protest was held outside the US embassy (Yui Mok/PA)

“We stand with those facing racist harassment and violence at police hands,” she said.

“In Britain, the massively disproportionate use of stop and search under section 60 against black people must end.

“We face a crossroads in fighting racism and discrimination that has killed thousands who are disproportionately killed by police in our communities, and are disproportionately affected in Covid-19 deaths due to institutionalised racism.

“This is not a moment, this is a movement.

“No more black people killed by the police, no more inequality justified by racist lies.

“No more divide and rule by the rich and powerful who use racism as a tool to defend inequality in society.

“We need change and we need it now, in fact we demand it.”

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