Saturday's march for Breonna Taylor underlines the continuing determination of the movement seven weeks on, reports Jamal Elaheebocus
Hundreds of young people marched through London for justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her home by Louisville Metro Police Department in March, and for all those who have been killed by police brutality in the US and the UK.
Protestors were supposed to gather outside the US Embassy but gathered opposite, since the embassy had been shut off by the police. There was a heavy presence throughout the protest, but particularly outside the US embassy, with officers walking in between the crowds and patrolling the pavements. This was despite the peaceful nature of it.
The protest started with speeches from young black people, mainly from the organisation Justice for Black Lives, who called for charges to be brought against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor and more generally for reforms in education.
Chants of ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Say her name: Breonna Taylor’ continued as the protest moved from the embassy to Vauxhall Bridge, where protestors knelt down, stopping traffic and held a two minutes silence to remember all those killed by the police in the US and UK. People in cars passing by beeped their horns in support and pedestrians clapped and cheered. There were several chants of ‘Boris is a racist’ or ‘Tories are racist’ and the energy grew and grew as we moved towards Westminster, with calls for justice for the Windrush generation and for Grenfell.
The protest stopped again in Parliament Square, where there were more speeches from the organisers, a campaigner for Windrush and a nurse. Links were made between the Palestinian struggle, the bombing of Yemen and the Black Lives Matter movement. There were calls for defunding the police and reinvesting it in public services cut by austerity.
Towards the end of the protest, there was a slight confrontation between the protestors and a group of people chanting racist slurs but the situation was resolved peacefully.
The fact that these protests have been able to last for over seven weeks is testament to the determination of the movement and the desire for significant changes to end systematic racism.
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