Activists filled Parliament Square in the British capital on Saturday, defying government and police appeals that people should stay home to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The crowds came together to sing Floyd’s name and “Black Lives Matter”, at one point they all knelt together.
“I think what happened in the United States was just a spark, it broke out everywhere … I think the death of George Floyd set him on fire all over the world and I think it’s amazing,” one protester told CNN. “It’s a global issue, wherever you are. It’s an issue everywhere, we all need to stand up,” he added.
And it comes despite warnings from politicians that mass rallies should not take place while the country is in a locked position. “I fully understand the desire of the people to express their views and to have this right to protest, but the fact is that we are in a health pandemic throughout the United Kingdom,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Saturday. during an interview with Sky News.
“I would tell those who want to protest, please don’t do it,” he added.
While a small social distance has been observed in the demonstration, people appeared to be distributing free masks and gloves to protect protesters from the spread of the virus.
According to the metropolitan police, the streets in Parliament Square were closed “to protect both the protesters and the vehicles” entering the area. while there is a significant police presence, the police did not wear protective equipment.
Meanwhile, a similar rally was held in Paris on Saturday.
Protesters there chanted “Justice for George Floyd” and “Racism is also a pandemic” as crowds formed outside the US embassy.