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London, Bristol bustle with 'Black Lives Matter' protests

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has become a protest center in recent days. The protests are an offshoot of the anti-racism demonstrations that kicked off in the United States following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets of London in the area where the American embassy is located.

The participants denounced the endemic evils of violence and racism in American society whiles demanding answers from governments in the face of the injustice that ethnic minorities are still too often exposed to across Europe.

“People think the UK is not to blame. It isn’t. There are problems here too, which the system is trying to duck. The system is constantly trying to go after black people.

“And now that they see that we’re aware of what they’re doing, they’re kind of… So I’m glad a lot of people are getting out today because now everybody’s aware of what’s going on,” one protester stressed

Cities outside London like Bristol have also joined. Bristol is where the statue of a seventeenth-century slave master, – seen as an emblematic but controversial figure of the city, was unbolted and then thrown into the river.

Those who take to the streets hope that the movement will continue to grow. Another protester stressed: “If this keeps up, it’s gonna get bigger and bigger.

“Those of you at home who are thinking “oh, I don’t really feel like being bothered today, and this, and that”, give at least an hour of your time. Come and support. Because if you don’t, it could mean you’re on the other side, which is racism!”

Due to COVID-19, many of the demonstrators were captured wearing masks and gloves. But physical distancing is difficult to maintain given the very large number of participants, but the need to express and claim a strong message seem to transcend any risk of infection.

And although those joining the protests all come from different backgrounds, they almost all share the same commitment to their cause – promising to continue to call for meaningful change and an end to systemic racism.

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