Activists filled Parliament Square in the British capital on Saturday, defying calls from the government and police that people should stay at home to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Crowds banded together to chant Floyd’s name and “Black Lives Matter,” at one point, and they all knelt together.
“I feel like what happened in the U.S. was just a spark, falling apart everywhere … I think George Floyd’s death caused it all over the world and I think it’s unbelievable,” one protester told CNN. “It’s a global problem, no matter where we are. It’s a problem everywhere, we all have to set ourselves up,” the other added.
And this comes despite warnings from politicians that mass rallies should not be held while the country is in prison. “I fully understand the desire of people to express their views and have that right to protest, but the fact is that we are in a health pandemic across the UK,” British Home Secretary Priti Patel News said in an interview with Sky on Saturday.
“I would tell those who want to protest, please don’t,” she added.
While little social distancing was noticed at the demonstrations, people were seen handing out free masks and gloves to protect protesters from the spread of the virus.
According to city police, roads in Parliament Square were closed “to protect both protesters and vehicles” entering the area; Although substantial police were present, officers did not wear protective equipment for the riots.
In Paris, meanwhile, a similar get-together took place on Saturday.
Protesters there carried signs reading “Justice for George Floyd” and “Racism is also a pandemic” as they created crowds outside the U.S. embassy.
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