People around the world have taken to the streets following the death of George Floyd to demonstrate against racial inequality and police violence.
The protests come on the back of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis at the hands of white police officers, one of whom knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, causing his death.
New York City lifted its curfew spurred by the protests against police brutality, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday.
The 20:00 citywide curfew, New York’s first in decades, had been set to remain in effect until at least Sunday. The city had been planning to lift it at the same time it enters the first phase of reopening, after over two months of shutdowns due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The authorities imposed a curfew on Monday after rioters looted shops and smashed storefront windows in various parts of the city.
Similar protests have spilled over into several countries worldwide. In Hong Kong, a small group of demonstrators held protests in front of the US Consulate, demonstrating against police brutality and racism in the US.
“It’s important to get our message across to others around the world to remind them that even though we are far away, we are with them 100% in spirit, because black lives matter,” 28-year-old British student Quinland Anderson told the Reuters news agency.
However, Australia’s Minister of Finance, Mathias Cormann, slammed the “Black Lives Matter” protesters as “reckless and irresponsible” for violating social distancing rules designed to limit the spread of the virus.
“I think it is incredibly selfish,” Cormann told Sky News, after thousands of people marched in Sydney, Melbourne, and other Australian cities. Some of the protestors were also defying bans issued by Australian authorities.
In Berlin, 28 police officers were injured in the aftermath of a largely peaceful protest against racism and the killing of George Floyd. Some 15,000 people attended the Berlin rally, for which only 1,500 people were initially anticipated due to the coronavirus restrictions. The participants also observed a silence lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds, honouring African-American George Floyd.
Protests also took place in other cities worldwide, including Manchester, Tunis, and Paris, protesting against police brutality.