British Protesters Throw Slave Trader Statue Into River—And Other Stunning Global Protest Moments

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Lisette Voytko   Forbes U.S. Staff

George Floyd protest

Photo: Donovan Valdivia on Unsplash

As protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing enter their 12th day, stunning images and video have emerged over the past 24 hours from around the world, including a group of U.K. protesters throwing the statue of a slave trader into a river.

KEY FACTS

- Protesters in Bristol, England, toppled a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into the local river; police say they have launched an investigation to try and track down the people responsible.

- Massive crowds assembled in cities throughout the world to march against racism and police brutality, including: London, England, Brisbane, Australia, Rome, Italy, Berlin, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, Palestinian territories,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, California, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

- Protesters in Brussels, Belgium, ascended a statue of King Leopold II while waving the flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which Leopold ruled over as a colony in the late 1800s—and which saw countless atrocities as its people and land were brutalized for the rubber trade. 

- One black couple, Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon, got married in Philadelphia on Saturday— and joined the protest, with marchers making way for the couple, who held hands, kissed on the street, and posed for photos with their fists in the air.

- Longtime Congressman and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) visited the newly-minted Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. with Mayor Muriel Bowser.

BIG NUMBER

Tens of thousands, at least. No official number has been released regarding the crowd sizes at protests this weekend, but massive crowds across the world have been on the move for nearly two weeks.

KEY BACKGROUND

George Floyd’s killing first sparked nationwide outrage, as Americans exhausted and demoralized by police brutality, systemic racism, the coronavirus pandemic and mass unemployment took to the streets. Those protests spurred worldwide momentum, as citizens around the world marched in support of the Black Lives Matter and the larger anti-racism movement. Some European countries still grappling with their colonial pasts are working to exorcise and right those previous wrongs. Reports say that within the U.S., a feeling of real change is hanging in the air, but it’s up to elected politicians to pass police reform and other legislation to make progress toward true equality.

 

FURTHER READING

Michael Jordan And Jordan Brand Pledge $100 Million To Racial Equality

#BlackOutTuesday Brings Music Industry To A Pause, But Some Artists Warn Against Obscuring Black Lives Matter Posts

George Floyd’s Death Ruled A Homicide By Medical Examiner

 

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Lisette Voytko   Forbes U.S. Staff

I'm a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose and xoJane.