Eleven people have been arrested outside the US embassy in London following protests in solidarity with the demonstrations that have engulfed the United States, sparked by the death of a black man by police in Minneapolis.
Marchers took to the streets of London, Manchester and Cardiff today (Sunday) in defiance of the coronavirus ban on mass gatherings to demand “Justice for George Floyd”.
The Metropolitan police announced that 11 arrests have been made outside the US embassy – as of 7.30pm – after marchers made their way from Trafalgar Square, through Whitehall and Westminster and across the Thames.
‘No justice no peace’ arrests at bomb proof billon-dollar US embassy
The demonstrators chanted “No justice, no peace” and carried banners and placards supporting Black Lives Matter and denouncing ‘White Silence is Compliance’ as they made their way to the huge glass cube, bomb proof, billon-dollar moated US embassy in Battersea.
Three arrests are for violating lockdown guidelines and two for assault on police said a statement from the Met, adding: “Those arrested are aged between 17-25 years. All have been taken into custody.”
Six more arrests soon followed for a variety of offences including “possession of an offensive weapon to assault on police, obstructing a public carriageway to breaches of COVID legislation,” the Met later tweeted.
Other protestors marched to Grenfell Tower in west London where 72 people lost their lives in the inferno on June 14, 2017. Today a demonstrator wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the memorial at the base of the tower block as others watched in silence before breaking into applause.
Protests in Manchester and Cardiff
Hundreds took to “the streets in Manchester to protest over the death of George Floyd” report the BBC, quoting a spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police who said the demonstrators were “peacefully protesting”.
She said officers “are taking important steps to engage those in attendance”, adding: “”We can understand how incidents elsewhere have such a significant impact here and this is clear for us to see today with the number of people who have attended to express their concerns.
“A top priority for us will always be to strike the balance and ensure any response is fair and proportionate.”
In Cardiff, hundreds of protesters gathered by the castle and sat peacefully displaying ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Say their names’ placards while listening to speeches conveying the importance of acting against injustice and racism.
“If you’re silent you’re not going to change anything,” said Donna Ali, who joined the protest. “It’s really something we’ve experienced for many years, whether it’s in the US or the UK.
“It’s really heart-breaking that people can’t see past the colour of skin.”
South Wales Police said the “event passed without incident with minimal disruption to the wider public” and that they had reminded protestors about coronavirus legislation.