"No justice, no peace" rang out on the streets of London as protesters marched in solidarity with Minneapolis, reports Lucy Nichols
On Sunday, thousands of protestors donned masks, gloves and handmade placards to demand an end to police racism in Britain and in the US. At 1pm today, Trafalgar Square was silent as thousands kneeled and raised their fists in remembrance of George Floyd – a black man murdered by the police in Minnesota just weeks ago. Though today’s demonstration was inspired by the wave of rebellions against police in the US, protestors made it clear that racism is just as prevalent in Britain as it is across the Atlantic. Protestors made clear their anger in demanding safety and equality of people of colour in the UK. ‘Justice for Belly’ echoed in Trafalgar Square; Belly Mujinga was a ticket office worker who died of Coronvirus after being spat on at work – the police have decided that no further action will be taken in the investigation into her death. Belly’s death is yet another example of the British state’s disregard for black lives.
Chants of ‘the UK is not innocent’, and ‘Justice for Belly’ were repeated as demonstrators marched from Trafalgar Square to the US Embassy, through Battersea and then towards Latimer Road. Nine years on from the police murder of Mark Duggan, demonstrators were still demanding justice for him as they marched through Westminster, Knightsbridge and Chelsea; ‘Who killed Mark Duggan? The police killed Mark Duggan’ frequently echoed along the route.
As the march continued, blocking main roads and bridges, London made it abundantly clear that the protestors were not alone. Almost every bus driver along the route beeped their horn in solidarity with the marchers; as did postal vans, mopeds delivering food, and Uber drivers. People stood on balconies waving placards from previous marches, and passers-by cheered and clapped. If they didn’t, they were swiftly reminded that ‘Silence is violence’; to be silent is to be complicit.
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