Thousands of protesters, carrying placards reading there is a virus greater than Coronavirus and it's called racism, turned out for Black Lives Matter protests in the United Kingdom on Saturday, ignoring the COVID19 lockdown.
The protests being held in solidarity with United States protests in the wake of the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd, were held in London's Parliament Square as well as across other cities such as Newcastle, Manchester, Leicester and Sheffield.
The death of George Floyd has sparked protest across the United States and in other countries around the globe. The 46 year old man died after white police Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during the arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
The image went viral across social media and led to Chauvin being charged with second degree murder, while other police officers prsent at the time also facing charges.
There is a virus greater than Coronavirus and that is called racism, read some of the placards carried by protestors, most of them used face coverings.
During a minute's silence, protesters went down on one knee while holding their fists in the air before chanting George Floyd.
I completely understand people's desire to express their reactins and have the right to protest but the fact of the matter is we are in a COVID19 pandemic across the United Kingdom, coronavirus is a deadly virus and I would like to say to protesters, please don't, said United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Scotland Yard Chief Cressida Dick also said protesters to find a different way of expressing their views which did not involve mass gatherings, which remain unlawful under the current COVID19 lockdown measures in place to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
Now I appreciate that we have a very, very long history of people expressing their views, opinions, reactions by assembling and waving placards and being in central London, and all those incidents were very close to our history, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said.
But coming together in a mass gathering is not only unlawful but also perhaps more importantly, in a sense, it is putting youself and your relatives at unnecessary risks and other people near you, as we all know Coronavirus is a deadly virus and it can spread in crowds, she added.