As I and millions of people across the globe are outraged at the murder of George Floyd, a black man who's neck was pressed on by a white police officer, named Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis. The most heartbreaking thing is that, he wasn't the first to be a victim of police brutality, there are numerous innocent black people who have been taken from us due to racism, around the world.
As a 13 year old, biracial girl, I feel it is compulsory for me to use my platforms to spread awareness and use my voice to support this movement that will soon turn into a revolution.
I attended two BLM protests in London, and this was my first time ever going to a protest, so I had no idea what to expect. All I knew for certain was that I was determined to support this movement. The first protest (05/06/2020) we went to was one from Hyde Park towards Buckingham palace, there weren't thousands of us, but there were a couple hundred people there who were participating in the protest. We had only just seen where the protest would be taking place on Instagram, so perhaps the message didn't reach as many people as expected. We began to raise our fists and posters and chant "Black lives matter" as we walked.
Black lives matter is not a trend. This is a movement, not a moment in time.
I can't even put into words what the atmosphere at the protests was like. It was the most heart-warming yet heart-breaking experience.
We all came there to become apart of this global change, but many only realised and came to terms with police brutality after watching the death of George Floyd on video.
It's truly upsetting to think people have to see the absolute worst to actually catch sight of what has been a worldwide issue for centuries.
There are still so many victims and people who have been murdered in cold blood, because the colour of their skin is seen as a weapon. Justice still hasn't been served for so many individuals. Make sure to educate yourself and SAY THEIR NAMES.
The second protest (06/06/2020) I went to was the next day, and it was the massive protest in Parliament Square. The amount of people who came to the protest that day still continues to blow my mind. It was all over the press and media, and on some helicopter footage you could see how many people there were.
The lady who organised the event made it clear, that we were not there for violence. No matter what the media or press shows, it will never be an accurate 100% equivalent of what the protest was actually like. There was a band there at the protest and they performed as we all held our posters proudly. The power and energy in the square was astronomical.
You could feel that everyone was there for the right reasons, they didn't participate in the protest to better their ego or to spark controversy, they did it because we were all equally determined for change.
I CAN'T BREATHE. I CAN'T BREATHE. I CAN'T BREATHE.
Further into the protest, the organiser, asked us to all kneel down on one knee in the memory and honour of George Floyd.
As we all raised our fists, and knelt down in solidarity, I turned around and we could actually see the heads of thousands and thousands of people. The sound of people's knees hitting the ground, became an echo. We knelt down for one minute in silence.
I had never felt so proud of this generation and those who are using their voice, as a symbolism of the oppressed. There wasn't just black people at the protest, there were white people, asian people, hispanic people. It was a battle against racism, not a battle between white and blacks. The diversity brought us all together.
We went to the protest, not only to demand justice for George Floyd, but to also demand justice for the victims who have lost their lives due to police brutality in the UK!
Here are some victims who have been failed by the UK, out of many, many others:
Adrian Thompson, 2014: Adrian was visiting a friend in Newcastle when the neighbours, supposedly heard "cries for help" and called the police. He was believed to be a burglar. When 8 police officers arrived, they tasered him with a 50,000 volt stun-gun. He later became unresponsive after being bundled into a police car and taken into custody. He later died.
Mark Duggan, 2011: Mark died after being shot several times in the chest and arm when being falsely accused of being in possession of a handgun.
A gun was found nearby without any of Mark's fingerprints. Although, excessive police force was used, his death was ruled as a "lawful killing".
Shukri Abdi, 2019: She was a 12 year old school girl, who was a refugee from Somalia, living in Manchester. She was dragged by her hijab into a river by her white school classmates and drowned whilst they watched and laughed. Witness statements and injuries showed evidence of bullying from the children before her murder. The Greater Manchester Police initially refused to open an investigation and had published a press release denying suspicious circumstances surrounding the case, suggesting Shukri drowned after going into the water to "cool-off" despite the fact she couldn't swim and her family reported she was scared of water. This was not an accident, bite marks were even found on Shukri's body.
Belly Mujinga, 2020: Died from Covid-19 after being spat on by a commuter whilst working at the train station, who said he was infected. The unknown commuter interrogated and questioned her and then spat on her, knowing they had the virus. Her employers knew she has respiratory problems but still insisted to work. She died 3 days later, due to the virus.
Edson Da Costa, 2017: Edson was put face down in the probe position. His arms were handcuffed behind his back, he was sprayed with CS gas and hit twice.
The officers initially thought he was yawning and resisting arrest, but he was actually choking. He became unresponsive. An ambulance was called, allegedly the wrong address.
He later died in hospital and no charges were taken to the officers involved.
Rashan Charles, 2017: Rashan was followed, chased and restrained by an officer who claimed he was trying to swallow a package. The officer who wore a body camera, threw Rashan to the ground, held him down by the neck and tried to reach inside his mouth. Rashan subsequently "became ill" and later died in the hospital. It was later discovered to be paracetamol and caffeine. The police officer was cleared of misconduct.
A Man Who Sparked a Revolution by Inspiring Vanessa
There is only one race, the human race, so why is this corrupt system still out of place.
We all bleed, feel and love the same, so why is it every week we hear a different black person’s name.
We have all been living in air that’s congested, and yet no one has taken action towards the rights that have been requested.
Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, even after they checked his pulse he continued to wash away George’s spirits.
The outrage and utter lack of respect, the cop couldn’t have cared less, as I switch on my phone I wonder how this world had gotten into such a mess.
What if it were the other way around, black privilege was prime and the whites would be thrown on the ground.
George Floyd said “I CAN'T BREATHE” 12 times, and still these cops get away with these inhuman crimes.
How many black innocent people have to die, just for a few ignorant people to finally clear their vision?! This fight for change will bring us closer not cause division.
How can you not see that the officers who kill one in millions, are this world’s real villains.
Together we can remove this racist pollution and turn this decade into a revolution.
We will say their names and give them the justice they deserve, because as we create change they will be able to sit back and observe.
I don’t care what your race, religion or sexual orientation is, there isn’t any valid reason to not speak up, those who were killed never had the pleasure of a head’s up.
You can still breathe, you woke up this morning never take advantage of that because families of victims still continue mourning.
There is no excuse for growing up in a racist household if you are old enough to know what is wrong and what is right. You are either against us or are going to help us win this fight.
If you are an individual that talks and speaks on “All lives matter”, then you are the very reason that we will see this nation shatter.
In 1968, the Civil Rights Act Movement was passed meaning no discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin, so why is it that 52 years later we are still fighting for something that should be forbidden.