‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd

‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd
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Protesters take part in a demonstration on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Hyde Park, London, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police. (AP Photo)
‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd
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Protesters march down Whitehall during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. (AFP)
‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd
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A protester holds a painting of George Floyd while taking part in a demonstration on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in London, over the death of Floyd in police custody, in Minneapolis, on May 25. (AP Photo)
‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd
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Protesters march during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. (AFP)
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Updated 03 June 2020

‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd

‘No justice, no peace’: Tens of thousands in London protest death of Floyd
  • Floyd died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25
  • Floyd’s death unleashed long simmering rage over perceived racial bias in the US criminal justice system

LONDON: Tens of thousands of people chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police” marched through central London on Wednesday to protest against racism after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck, an event that has set off the biggest anti-racism protests seen in the United States since the 1960s civil rights era.
Demonstrators have also come out in cities around the world in solidarity with Floyd and to express anger over racism. Protesters in London chanted “George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter” as they marched through the city center.
On Parliament Square, on Trafalgar Square and at other locations, thousands knelt on one knee, a form of protest known as “taking a knee” famously used by American footballer Colin Kaepernick to denounce police brutality against black people.
Some demonstrators urged police officers lining the route of the march to also take a knee, and a few of the officers did.
“This has been years in the coming, years and years and years of white supremacy,” 30-year-old project manager Karen Koromah told Reuters.
“We’ve come here with our friends to sound the alarm, to make noise, to dismantle supremacist systems,” Koromah said, cautioning that unless there was action the United Kingdom would face problems like those in the United States.
“I don’t want to start crying,” she said of the images from the United States. “It makes my blood boil.”
The demonstrators booed as they walked past 10 Downing Street, official residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and some also booed and took a knee in front of New Scotland Yard, London’s police headquarters.
Some protesters waved banners with slogans such as: “The UK is not innocent: less racist is still racist,” “Racism is a global issue” and “If you aren’t angry you aren’t paying attention.”
The event was almost entirely peaceful. There were brief scuffles between police officers and some protesters outside 10 Downing Street but they were over within minutes.
Johnson, who was inside at the time giving the government’s daily briefing on the coronavirus outbreak, was asked what he would say to US President Donald Trump about Floyd’s death and the protests it has sparked.
“We mourn George Floyd, and I was appalled and sickened to see what happened to him,” he said.
“My message to President Trump, to everybody in the United States, from the UK is that — and it’s an opinion I’m sure is shared by the overwhelming majority of people around the world — racism and racist violence has no place in our society.”
Johnson has been criticized in the past for comments that many considered racist. In 2018, when he was foreign minister, he wrote in a newspaper column that Muslim women wearing burkas looked like bank robbers or letter boxes.
Outside Downing Street, some protesters chanted “Boris is a racist.”
British police chiefs said they were appalled by the way Floyd lost his life and by the violence that followed in US cities, but called on protesters in the United Kingdom to work with police as coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
“We can see feelings are running really high today. It’s been a peaceful protest,” said police commander Alex Murray.
“We’re committed to make London a lot safer and to build trust with all communities,” he said.
Many marchers said racism was a British problem too.
“It’s not like this is just about someone dying, we live our lives made awfully aware of our race. That’s not right, that’s not the natural order,” said Roz Jones, who came to Britain as a child from South Africa.


UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray

Updated 02 December 2020

UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray

UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray
  • For weeks, the UN and others have pleaded for aid access amid reports of food, medicines and other supplies running out

NAIROBI, Kenya: The United Nations says it and Ethiopia’s government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access to the embattled Tigray region, at least the parts under federal government control.
This will allow the first aid to the region of 6 million people that has been cut off during fighting that began a month ago between the federal and Tigray regional governments. Each regards the other as illegal in a power struggle that has been months in the making.
For weeks, the UN and others have pleaded for aid access amid reports of food, medicines and other supplies running out.
A UN humanitarian spokesman says the first mission to carry out a needs assessment begins Wednesday.