The historic US protests have also triggered the UK citizens to stand against racism. Thousands of people in the UK have gathered to protest after the killing of a black man by a white police officer in the US. Reportedly, the UK protestors are affected by George Floyd’s murder because most of them have faced racism in the UK, as well.
These protests started on 25th May in the US after George Floyd’s murder. The killer cop kneeled on his neck and choked the victim out. However, the protests didn’t remain limited to Mr. Floyd’s ill-treatment but a got extended to call for an end to racism once and for all.
Generally, the protests were peaceful, the protestors were seen gathering outside the US embassy in London and marching towards Parliament Square and Downing Street; They gathered in other cities as well including Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.
Why The UK Responded To The US Protests?
The black community of the UK stands in support of those who are fighting against the deeply rooted racism in America. They have reacted strongly because they are fully aware of how white police officials treat black citizens.
According to the reports, Scotland Yard uses force against black people four times more than the white people. Protestors gave many examples like Dalian Atkinson, Rashan Charles, and Sheku Bayoh.
This important movement against racism is constantly ignored by many people, governments, and media houses. Most of the time occasional violence is amplified to distract the people from actual problems.
How Did The Peaceful Protest Grow So Violent
Just like US protests, demonstrators started off with a peaceful protest by bringing placards, bending on their knees, and giving speeches as a tribute to George Floyd. However the peace did not last long as demonstrators graffitied one of the biggest symbols of imperialism in Great Britain. They sprayed “was a racist” on former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill’s statue.
This action angered many people due to the perceived image of Churchill among the masses in the UK. Citizens who were not protesting to end racism, protested to defend Churchill’s statue. Many people think that such people are highly delusional or deliberately supporting white supremacy.
Churchill’s Was Not The Only Statue
There are many people who oppose the erection of statues especially of war mongers and slave traders. In Bristol, the 18ft statue of a 17-century English merchant and slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and everyone cheered.
After tearing it down, they threw the statue in Bristol harbour to make their statement. It is believed that Colston sold over 100,000 African people between 1672 and 1689.
Clash Between Police And Protestors
The police arrived on horses and caused further pressure among the already stressed public.
A small group threw bottles and traffic cones at police. One policeman was badly injured by the throwable objects.
Throwable objects caused one horse to go rampant. The riding police officer got hit by a traffic light. He was taken to hospital and suffered no life threatening injuries.
The people were given a chance to protest peacefully but the panic asserted by the interferences of riot police on horses, scared the people. Someone was bound to get hurt when police officers bring an animal that powerful to chase away some human beings.
The Purpose Of Protests
The huge purpose is getting overshadowed by the minor violence (that is initiated after police interference) and a small group of protestors. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has warned that the people are betraying the cause that they claim to serve and they will be held accountable for attacking the police.
In reply, the PM was reminded about the credibility of people whose statues UK is erecting all over. She claims normal people have appealed many times to remove that statue as it hurts the sentiments of many people. Yet, the law enforcement and few white supremacist citizens were defending the statue.