Thousands of Spaniards and Italians joined protesters who speak out against racism around the world on Sunday in the wake of the protest wave sparked in the United States by the death of a black man asphyxiated by a white police officer. Minneapolis.
Some 3,000 people, according to the Madrid prefecture, gathered at noon in front of the U.S. embassy in Madrid. Black and white, they denounced the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, repeating his last words “I cannot breathe”, and chanting “No peace without justice”, or “You racists, are the terrorists. “
In Rome, an unforeseen demonstration gathered in the vast Piazza del Popolo thousands of young people who knelt in silence, their fists raised, for nine minutes, the time during which a policeman rested his knee on the neck of George Floyd until ‘when he died. When they got up, they shouted: “I can’t breathe”!
In Thailand where an anti-racist demonstration had been banned, more than 200 people participated in a virtual protest, logging onto the conference site Zoom to watch videos on the “Black Lives Matter” movement. “) and raise a fist against police violence.
Protesters in Madrid also knelt on the ground raising their fists, a gesture initiated by American football player Colin Kaepernick in 2016 in a stadium while the national anthem of the United States resounded. They then walked peacefully to the iconic Puerta del Sol, in the heart of the capital.
Demonstration in Barcelona to denounce racism, June 7, 2020 (AFP / LLUIS GENE)
“Racism has no borders,” said Leinisa Seemdo, a 26-year-old Spanish translator from Cape Verde. I have lived in China, Portugal, and now Spain, and in every country I have experienced discrimination because of my skin color. “
– “What would it be if I were black” –
In the crowd in Rome, which included many African immigrants, Michael Taylor, originally from Botswana, came with his whole family.
“I am a white African, and I sometimes feel fear and contempt only because I am a foreigner,” he told AFP. “Imagine what it would be like if I were black.”
“It is really hard to live here,” said Morikeba Samate, 32, a Senegalese migrant who arrived in the tens of thousands in Italy after the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean. “They think we are all thieves.”
In Barcelona, in the north of Spain, hundreds of demonstrators filled the square Sant Jaume, where the regional government of Catalonia sits. Masked and keeping their distance, they held up signs in English to denounce racism in Spain and Europe.
The organization Black Community, African and of African descent of Spain (CNAAE) had launched calls to demonstrate in ten cities, from Pampelone in the Basque Country to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa .
Other demonstrations were planned for the day in Copenhagen, Brussels, Glasgow and London where, on Saturday, a peaceful demonstration of thousands of people ended in scuffles. Police charged on horseback to disperse protesters who threw bottles at them.
The indignation that took tens of thousands of Americans to the streets after the death of George Floyd, asphyxiated by a police officer who arrested him for a minor crime last May 25 in Minneapolis, gradually won the rest of the planet.
On Saturday, demonstrations took place from Australia to Tunisia via France and Britain, protesters also denouncing racism in their own country.