Protesters took the streets in a number of cities, including London and Copenhagen, while footballers in Germany displayed their solidarity with anti-racism demonstrations in the US over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck.
Thousands gathered in London on Sunday in a display of solidarity and support for US anti-racism demonstrators. The protesters knelt in central London’s Trafalgar Square chanting, “No justice! No peace!” and waving placards with the words “How many more?” Police didn’t stop them.
Ignoring the UK government’s rules banning crowds due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they marched past the Houses of Parliament before arriving outside the US Embassy, where a long line of police officers surrounded the building. Several hundred milled around in the street and waved placards.
The Metropolitan police said they made five arrests outside the US Embassy, three for violations of the coronavirus lockdown guidelines and two for assault on police.
‘Stop killing black people’
Protesters in Denmark also converged on the US Embassy on Sunday. Participants carried placards with messages such as “Stop Killing Black People.”
Protests broke out for a second day in a row in the German capital when several hundred more people took to the streets in the Kreuzberg area, carrying signs with slogans like “Silence is Violence,” “Hold Cops Accountable,” and “Who Do You Call When Police Murder?” No incidents were reported.
The US Embassy in Berlin was the scene of protests on Saturday under the motto: “Justice for George Floyd.”
Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper on Sunday carried the sensational headline “This killer-cop set America ablaze” with an arrow pointing to a photo of now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third-degree murder in Floyd’s death, with his knee on Floyd’s neck. The newspaper’s story reported “scenes like out of a civil war.”
Footballer Jadon Sancho joined symbolic demonstrations of protests across German pitches on Sunday by lifting his jersey after scoring to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front.
Sancho was shown a yellow card for his gesture which came after he scored the second goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn on Sunday.
Earlier, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin. The Gladbach forward scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.
“No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.
It evoked memories of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the American national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racial inequality amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
The 22-year-old Thuram, who also scored Gladbach’s third goal, made no comment on his gesture after the game.
“He got to the point,” Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. “He made a sign against racism, one we all completely support of course. I believe that everyone fully supports it, that everyone has the same thoughts he does.”
Thuram is the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, an outspoken anti-racism campaigner.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)