Old and young dropped down on one knee in a moving and powerful protest against racism outside York Minster this evening (Wednesday).
The York Justice For George Floyd vigil, organised by Stand Up To Racism, saw residents join in solidarity with a world shocked by his death.
Mr Floyd died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis, USA, on May 25, sparking international protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The York protesters were careful to abide by social distancing outside the Minster.
Organisers had deliberately limited the numbers taking part. They then marked spaces that were two metres apart, and directed protesters to them.
People carried placards with messages including, ‘No Justice, No Peace’ and ‘A System Can’t Fail Those It Was Never Designed To Protect’.
March through York
Organisers said the event was to show solidarity with those resisting racism in the US and against the policies that have led to massively disproportionate black and minority ethnic deaths in the Covid-19 pandemic in Britain.
By kneeling, they followed in the tradition of protest against racism and police brutality begun four years ago by American athletes, who would ‘take the knee’ during the US national anthem.
After holding a one-minute silence, protesters marched through York chanting ‘I Can’t Breathe’, ‘No Peace’ and ‘George Floyd’.
According to media analyst Ismail Fahmi, York was once of the most active cities in the world talking about #BlackLivesMatter on social media.
Distribution of Locations for #BlackLivesMatter— Ismail Fahmi (@ismailfahmi) June 3, 2020
Most active cities: London, Los Angeles, York, Paris, Chicago, Jakarta, etc.
Most active provinces: England, California, Texas, le-de France, Illionis, DKI Jakarta etc.
Most active countries: US, UK, Indonesia, France, Brazil.. pic.twitter.com/g2ZaawJ2vw