Activists filled Parliament Square in the British capital on Saturday, defying calls from the government and police that people should stay in their homes to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Crowds gathered together to chant the name Floyd and “Black Life”, at some point, they all took their knees in unison.
One of the protesters told CNN: “I feel that what happened in the United States was just a spark, a spark everywhere … I think the death of George Floyd raised it all over the world and I think it is amazing.” Another added, “It is a global issue, no matter where you are. It is a problem everywhere, we all need to get up.”
This comes despite politicians’ warnings that mass rallies should not take place during the closure of the country. “I fully understand the desire of people to express their opinions and have the right to protest, but the fact of the matter is that we are in a healthy epidemic across the UK,” UK Home Secretary Pretti Battle said on Saturday in an interview with Sky. News.
“I would like to say to those who want to protest, please do not do.”
While little social spacing was observed at the demonstration, people were seen distributing masks and free gloves to protect protesters from the spread of the virus.
According to the Metropolitan Police, the roads leading to Parliament Square have been closed “to protect demonstrators and vehicles” entering the area; While there was a large police presence, the officers were not wearing riot gear.
Meanwhile, a similar meeting was held in Paris on Saturday.
The protesters protested there were placards reading “Justice for George Floyd” and “Racism is a pandemic” as well as crowds outside the US embassy.