Sun, 12 Jul 2020

LONDON, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people on Wednesday gathered in central London's Hyde Park to show their solidarity with George Floyd, an unarmed black man suffocated to death by a white police officer in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota last week.

Organized by the campaign group "Black Lives Matter", the protest started at around 1 p.m. (1200 GMT), with demonstrators chanting "no justice, no peace", "Black Lives Matter" and "silence is violence" before marching towards the Parliament Square.

Star Wars actor John Boyega made an emotional speech to protesters, in which he said the crowds were "a physical representation of our support" for Floyd.

"I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn't the case any more. That was never the case," he said.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers asked demonstrators to keep two-meter distance during the event and were seen handing out gloves.

The London protest followed days of massive protests against racial discrimination and police abuse across the United States.

The 46-year-old African American died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes until he stopped breathing.

In a video footage, the victim was heard saying "I can't breathe" while three other police officers stood by.

On Sunday, despite the ban of mass gatherings, thousands of people gathered in London and Manchester to protest over the death of Floyd. On Tuesday evening, civic buildings in cities including London, Liverpool and Cardiff were lit up purple in memory of Floyd.

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