Like most others I was shocked and disgusted after watching the George Floyd police murder video, and glad to learn that, after days of protests and riots in the US everyone involved was being charged. Protests were breaking out across the UK as well, despite there being a lockdown in force. We attended the ones in London, and this is what we found.
Saturday - Parliament Square
As my colleague and I made our way into the center of London we shared the carriages with masked protestors heading into the event. Easily identifiable carrying cardboard signs with black marker slogans.
Overall we found it to be good natured & high energy, without any overtones of violence or danger. It’s hard to feel intimidated or scared when, as my colleague mentioned after the first five minutes: “there’s SO MANY hot women here”.
The crowds were larger (and significantly younger) than the Brexit day celebrations at the beginning of the year, with people packed shoulder to shoulder in Parliament Square and the roads leading up to it. Free masks were being handed out but social distancing was essentially impossible.
London is home to the majority of the UK’s black population, however at this event they were vastly outnumbered by white protestors; with a strong turnout of trendy, young, white, middle class girls.
Overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly middle class, overwhelmingly female. More a student protest than a civil rights movement.
Is there a problem with police brutality in the UK?
More specifically, are Black Britons disproportionate victims?
Sunday - American Embassy
This crowd was more evenly split and not so overwhelmingly white.