World outrage grows over Floyd’s death

3 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

World outrage grows over Floyd’s death

United States Park Police pushes back protestors near the White House on Monday as demonstrations against George Floyd’s death continue. —AFP PHOTO

BRUSSELS: From Sydney to Paris, world outrage at George Floyd’s death in the US was growing Tuesday as the European Union’s top diplomat said the bloc was “shocked and appalled” by it and thousands marched in Australia’s largest city, reports AP.

Chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” about 3,000 protesters held an impassioned but peaceful march through central Sydney on Tuesday demanding fundamental change in race relations.

In France, protests were planned for the evening in Paris and across the country after calls from the family of a French black man who died shortly after he was arrested by police in 2016. A protest was also planned in The Hague, Netherlands.

Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a white police officer in Minneapolis who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. His death set off protests that spread across America.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s remarks in Brussels were the strongest so far to come out of the 27-nation bloc, saying Floyd’s death was a result of an abuse of power.

Borrell told reporters that “like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd.” He underlined that Europeans “support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions.”

Protesters around the world have expressed solidarity with Americans demonstrating against Floyd’s death.

In Sydney, a mostly Australian crowd, but also including protesters from the U.S. and elsewhere, marched for around a half-mile under police escort in the authorized, two-hour long demonstration.

Many said they had been inspired by a mixture of sympathy for African Americans amid ongoing violent protests in the U.S., but had turned out to also call for change in Australia’s treatment of its indigenous population, particularly that involving police.

“I can’t breathe” notably were the final words of David Dungay, a 26-year-old Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney prison in 2015 while being restrained by five guards.