In the nearly three weeks since videos surfaced of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, thousands have participated in the Black Lives Matter protests. In Los Angeles, Athens, Tel Aviv, Sydney, and Mexico City, protestors have left their homes and taken to the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic to honor Floyd, to stand against racism, and to demand justice for others killed by the police. Here are powerful photos from those protests, from multi-lingual signs to Compton Cowboys on horseback.
Demonstrators honor George Floyd at the site of his murder on June 3. After 13 days of around-the-clock demonstrations, the city of Minneapolis met protestors’ demands and announced plans to disband their police department, focusing instead on community-led initiatives.
Dutch protestors gathered on and around the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam to march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests around the world. The Democrats 66, a political party in the Netherlands, is currently calling for a ban on police chokeholds within their own police forces.
Sparked by Floyd’s murder, protestors gathered in Paris last week with signs that read “Justice pour Adama.” Adama Traoré was a Malian-French man who died in police custody in 2016, in the Paris suburb of Beaumont-sur-Oise. A recent autopsy found the cause of death to be asphyxiation, implicating the police.
As a result of ongoing demands for its removal, and days of on-site protests, the governor of Virginia announced plans to tear down the city’s statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Days later, a Richmond judge temporarily blocked the action; though a spokesperson for governor Ralph Northam says that the governor remains committed to removing the racist symbol.
Two protests were held near Shibuya Station in Tokyo on June 7, where demonstrators held signs that read “Stop racism in Japan!” and “Black Lives Matter,” in a dual effort to combat issues within Japan and stand in solidarity with those abroad.
In Northampton, England, 60 miles northwest of London, protestors took to the streets in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and enacted with a die-in (also known as a lie-in), a form of protest in which participants lie in the streets.
Thousands crowded the popular Alexanderplatz square in Berlin’s Mitte district on June 6, where they remained silent for eight minutes and 46 seconds—the amount of time Floyd was pinned down, unable to breathe—in tribute. More than a dozen protests took place throughout Germany over the weekend.
A stretch of 16th Street NW in Washington, D.C., has been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, denoted by a new mural completed June 5. Each of the bright yellow letters are the height of the two-lane street they cover.
A crowd of protestors walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, with the U.S. Capitol Building looming in the background. This very thoroughfare is also where The Great March in 1987 took place, when 200,000 people protested for gay rights, and where Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders marched on August 5, 1965, in support of home rule legislation.
On June 7, masked, sign-and-banner-toting Poles occupied the old town of Krakow to protest police brutality and racism in America, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
New York City
In New York City’s Harlem, men marched in suits and ties to pay respect to George Floyd. As the group walked down Fifth Avenue, the crowd ultimately grew to number more than a thousand people. Demonstrator and fashion consultant Elias Hightower told Vogue of his outfit choice: “I asked myself, would I wear this to someone’s funeral? To a relative’s funeral? I almost wore Vans with my suit, but I knew I couldn’t do this by halves. This was really about changing the narrative and showing the power of dress.”
Swells of New Yorkers marched through Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, behind massive “Defund the NYPD” banners. As part of their effort to reduce police brutality, marchers are demanding that mayor Bill De Blasio cut funding for the city’s law enforcement by $1 billion this year, and reallocate those resources to community-driven services.
In front of the United States Embassy in Bogota, local protestors burned an American flag in solidarity with protesters stateside, while also denouncing the presence of U.S. troops in Colombia. Throughout the city, other protestors demanded justice for their own victims of police brutality and systemic racism, including Anderson Arboleda, who was killed by Colombian police in May after allegedly violating quarantine.
Protestors in Brazil’s capital held an anti-racist, anti-fascist rally, and denounced President Jair Bolsonaro at the city’s Esplanada dos Ministérios on Sunday, June 7. Brazil has a massive police brutality problem of its own, with a reported 1,810 people killed by cops in just Rio de Janeiro last year.
The Compton Cowboys, a coalition of local riders founded in 1988, trotted through South Los Angeles on horseback in a peace ride for George Floyd on June 7. The organization aims to uplift their local community through youth mentorship programs, and highlight the history of Black Americans in cowboy culture.
In Los Angeles’s usually gridlocked streets, tens of thousands gathered at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland for a Black Lives Matter march on June 7, after more than one week of citywide protests.
In Sergels Torg, one of Stockholm’s most central public squares, protestors took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter efforts in the U.S. The act of taking a knee, started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, has become a symbol of solidarity in anti-racist protests throughout the world.