Thousands march in Britain in solidarity with U.S. protests

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Police officers are seen during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in Trafalgar Square, London, Britain, May 31, 2020.
JOHN SIBLEY / REUTERS

LONDON (CBS) — Thousands of people marched through London on Sunday to support demonstrations across the United States in response to the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. Starting at Trafalgar Square and moving through the city to the U.S. Embassy, British demonstrators chanted slogans including “I can’t breathe,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

“This is our respect to people in America who are suffering right now,” Paige Adjarhore, 18, told CBS News. “We’re too far away to go there and help them, but this is us showing that we support them. We’re with you and we feel your pain,” she said.

“What people don’t understand is that when you’re black, you’re under attack,” said Kieran Blackman, 28. “We have fought for equality, and it’s not happening.”

The demonstration was in violation of U.K. lockdown rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which forbid large gatherings. The police, however, did not disperse the crowds.

Protesters gather during a ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in front of the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark May 31, 2020. 
RITZAU SCANPIX/IDA GULDBAEK ARENTSEN VIA REUTERS

“People are killing black people all over the world, not just in America. We’re just asking to be heard,” Blackman said.

Protests have erupted throughout the U.S., with some turning violent, over the death of Floyd, who was captured on video pleading for air as a police officer kneeled on his neck while he was handcuffed. Four Minneapolis officers have been fired and one, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Other European countries held protests in solidarity as well over the weekend, with demonstrators converging on the U.S. embassy in Denmark carrying signs bearing messages like, “Stop killing black people,” the Associated Press reported. In Germany, hundreds took to the streets carrying signs saying, “Who Do You Call When Police Murder?” and “Silence is Violence,” the AP reported. A small protest in London on Saturday saw about a hundred people chant, “Stop killing us.”

U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab declined to comment on unrest in the United States, calling the footage of a police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck “very distressing.”

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