Whether in major cities or small towns, Black, white or non-Black people of colour communities have marched, held vigils, and organised to put pressure on local and state officials to defend Black life in all 50 of the United States in the last two weeks.
But the uprisings haven’t stopped there. Communities around the world have been taking to the streets over the past week, both in solidarity with mobilisations in the U.S. and to address anti-Black racism locally. From Brazil to the UK, Spain to South Korea, and Italy to New Zealand, people have been rising up, demonstrating that tackling white supremacy requires a global response, and that the movement to defend Black lives extends far beyond the United States.
— 350 dot org (@350) June 10, 2020
While anti-Black racism and white supremacy have a specific history in the United States, they are also rooted in the legacy of colonialism globally. In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored similar disparities faced by British Black communities to those in the US, and there are numerous instances of British police killing Black people that have gone unprosecuted. In Brazil, nearly 75% of people killed by police in recent years were Black, including João Pedro Matos Pinto, a 14-year-old boy shot to death during a botched police raid in May. In Guangzhou, China, reports have shown photos and video of police officers detaining Africans over concerns about the spread of coronavirus, while several businesses have refused service to Black patrons. And in India, African students have faced brutal attacks by mobs over the last several years.
We are global.
To lay a path for future generations, we are calling for the SIX NINETEEN mobilization on Juneteenth weekend. June 19-21.
We invite you to take action from home, in your community or by joining us in Washington, D.C.
Shoutout to South Africa & the Toyi Toyi pic.twitter.com/wllajbEJBp
— Movement 4 Black Lives (@Mvmnt4BlkLives) June 11, 2020
A lot can happen in a week
In response, mobilisations against racism have been spreading worldwide at an unprecedented pace. Thousands marched through city streets in Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday morning, with many signs reading “Vidas Negras Importan.” In Bristol, England, protesters tore down a statue of a 17th century slave trader, Edward Colston, on Sunday and dumped it in a nearby harbour. It sparked a huge national debate over the horrific legacy of colonialism and slavery represented by public monuments to its architects.
#BlackLivesMatter from London to Lagos. From Porte-au-Prince to Kinshasa. From Minnesota to Johannesburg.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We matter. ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾Now let’s keep that same energy a month from now, years from now, and also when no one is watching! pic.twitter.com/UmBhoyOikF
— George Kibala (@gfkkb) June 6, 2020
A protest held in Johannesburg, South Africa denounced the murder of George Floyd and called on South African leaders to do more to stop police brutality locally. And in Rio de Janeiro hundreds gathered at the state government palace last weekend demanding justice for the murders of Black residents of the city’s favelas by police.
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Tens of thousands defied warnings not to protest from Australia’s prime minister to join Black Lives Matter marches through Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and other cities this past weekend, drawing particular attention to the killing of Indigenous people by police.
Turkish protesters gathered outside of Trump Towers in Istanbul on Friday to decry the murder of George Floyd. In Seoul, South Korea on Saturday, demonstrators joined a protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and denouncing racism against minorities in the country. And in Berlin, Germany, more than 15,000 people assembled for a “No to Racism” rally with signs reading “Stop pretending your racism is patriotism” and “Germany, you are not innocent.”
These protests are a promising sign of a global movement for cross racial solidarity to address the legacy of colonialism, and to dismantle white supremacy.
350.org has mobilised people worldwide to disrupt business as usual in our efforts to curb the climate crisis – and we know that to truly tackle the climate crisis, we must address and disrupt systemic racism and colonial extraction at every level.
There is no just recovery for climate, without addressing the systemic extraction, harm and violence towards Black communities. If you stand ready to take action in defence of Black Lives, sign this pledge today: