JUS­TICE FOR GE­ORGE: THOU­SANDS MARCH IN US, AUS­TRALIA, CANADA, UK

Black Lives Mat­ter protests in Asia, Europe and Aus­tralia as secy of state ac­cuses China of us­ing US un­rest to jus­tify its own rights vi­o­la­tions

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents & Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

WASH­ING­TON/SYD­NEY/TORONTO : Tens of thou­sands marched in Aus­tralia, Canada, the UK, Ja­pan, Seoul and else­where in sol­i­dar­ity with the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment as Wash­ing­ton, DC geared up for what’s be­ing an­tic­i­pated as the largest ever protest in the US against racism in the wake of the cus­to­dial death of Ge­orge Floyd.

Over 1,000 peo­ple marched in Syd­ney af­ter win­ning a last-minute ap­peal against a Friday rul­ing declar­ing their rally unau­tho­rised. In Bris­bane, about 30,000 peo­ple gath­ered, forc­ing po­lice to shut down some major streets.

In the South Korean cap­i­tal Seoul, pro­test­ers gath­ered for a sec­ond straight day to de­nounce

Floyd’s death. Wear­ing masks and black shirts, dozens marched through a com­mer­cial district amid a po­lice es­cort, carrying signs such as “Kore­ans for Black Lives Mat­ter”.

In Tokyo, dozens of peo­ple gath­ered in a peace­ful protest. In Paris, po­lice banned a protest planned for Satur­day, cit­ing the risk of spread­ing Covid-19. In Bri­tain, tens of thou­sands of peo­ple ig­nored of­fi­cial ad­vice to avoid mass gath­er­ings and came to­gether to protest against the killing.

In Canada, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau made an unan­nounced ap­pear­ance at an an­tira­cial dis­crim­i­na­tion rally in the cap­i­tal Ottawa, and then pro­ceeded to take the knee for around nine min­utes, along with pro­test­ers.

US sec­re­tary of state Mike Pom­peo ac­cused China of us­ing the un­rest in the US to jus­tify deny­ing its own peo­ple ba­sic hu­man rights. “As with dic­ta­tor­ships through­out his­tory, no lie is too ob­scene, so long as it serves the party’s lust for power,” he said, re­fer­ring to the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party. “This laugh­able pro­pa­ganda should not fool any­one.”

China has re­peat­edly crit­i­cised the US over the Floyd case.

The US is now wit­ness­ing a week­end of protests de­scribed as the broad­est in its his­tory, spread­ing even to smaller cities and small towns, in­clud­ing deeply con­ser­va­tive ones. District of Colom­bia, which had another night of cur­few on Friday, has seen a surg­ing num­ber of pro­test­ers, un­de­terred by the heavy pres­ence of law en­force­ment. They demon­strated in front of the White House, which has been turned into a fortress with tall fences and con­crete bar­ri­cades and walked peace­fully to the Lin­coln Memo­rial nearby.

The protests, now into their 12th day, have spread to more lo­ca­tions than the pre­vi­ous high of 650 places dur­ing the Women’s Marches of Jan­uary 2017, just days af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took of­fice, ac­cord­ing to a re­search pub­lished in The Wash­ing­ton Post. The study by pro­fes­sors Lara Put­nam, Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Press­man noted t “the breadth of the protests is sig­nif­i­cant” and also be­cause they took place with­out ad­vance plan­ning and in the mid­dle of a pan­demic that has kept many Amer­i­cans home.

REUTERS

Pro­test­ers painted Black Lives Mat­ter on a street near the White House in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

REUTERS

A demon­stra­tor gets emo­tional dur­ing an anti-racism protest in Le­ices­ter, UK.

REUTERS

Canada's PM Justin Trudeau takes a knee dur­ing a rally in Ottawa.

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