Defying lockdown, Londoners protest against George Floyd's death outside US embassy

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A demonstrator is removed by police officers from outside the US embassy after people marched there from Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (AP)
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Police officers remove two protesters they handcuffed from outside the US embassy after people marched there from Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020, to protest against the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. (AP)
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Demonstrators hold up placards as they lean out of a car waiting at traffic lights up the road from the US embassy in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020, to protest against the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. (AP)
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Updated 31 May 2020

Defying lockdown, Londoners protest against George Floyd's death outside US embassy

  • A few hundred had earlier gathered in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London for a vigil that saw everyone kneel for nine minutes
  • UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called footage of the incident “very distressing”

LONDON: Hundreds of Londoners defied coronavirus restrictions and rallied outside the US embassy on Sunday in solidarity with protests raging across the United States over the death of an unarmed black man during an arrest.
The death of George Floyd in Minnesota has sparked five consecutive nights of often violent protests that resulted in National Guard troops patrolling majority US cities on Sunday.
The London protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” and held up “Black Lives Matter” signs outside the US embassy compound on the southern bank of the Thames River.
A few hundred had earlier gathered in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London for a vigil that saw everyone kneel for nine minutes — the amount of time the policeman kneeled on Floyd’s neck.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called footage of the incident “very distressing.”
But he refrained from commenting on US President Donald Trump’s explosive tweets and controversial public statements about the protests.
“I’ve long kept to the self-imposed guidance not to comment on what President Trump says,” Raab told the BBC.
Authorities will officially allow groups of up to six to gather in England — and up to eight in Scotland — starting on Monday as more than two months of restrictions begin to ease.


UK PM says schools must open in September

Updated 09 August 2020

UK PM says schools must open in September

  • A study has warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system
  • The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to operate safely despite the ongoing threat from the pandemic.
His comments follow a study earlier this month which warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Johnson said restarting schools was a national priority. Schools would be the last places to close in future local lockdowns, he was quoted by another newspaper as telling a meeting on Thursday.
Schools in England closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils.
The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September in what Johnson has called a “national priority.”
“Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible,” Johnson wrote.
The economic costs for parents who cannot work if schools are shut are spiralling, and the country faces big problems if children miss out on education, the prime minister warned.
“This pandemic isn’t over, and the last thing any of us can afford to do is become complacent. But now that we know enough to reopen schools to all pupils safely, we have a moral duty to do so,” he wrote.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported that he has ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools open on time and told the meeting last week that they should be the last places to close behind restaurants, pubs and shops.