George Floyd: Artists Show Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Protests In The US

31 May 2020, 17:06 | Updated: 31 May 2020, 17:58

Lizzo is among the many artists speaking out following George Floyd's death, as protestors gather in the UK
Lizzo is among the many artists speaking out following George Floyd's death, as protestors gather in the UK. Picture: PA Images/Instagram: @lizzobeeating

Artists are speaking out following the killing of George Floyd, as thousands gather across the UK in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests taking place in the US.

People have gathered in London and Manchester in solidarity with the US, who are protesting against police brutality.

There has been growing anger since the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being arrested in Minneapolis on Monday.

Police were filmed kneeling on the his neck for at least eight minutes, despite Mr Floyd saying he couldn't breathe. The 46-year-old was later pronounced dead in hospital. An officer has been charged with his murder.

Mr Floyd's death has been cited as the latest example of systemic police brutality against African American citizens.

George Floyd, who died after being arrested in Minneapolis
George Floyd, who died after being arrested in Minneapolis. Picture: George Floyd

Over the weekend, protests have spread from Minneapolis to at least 30 cities across the States.

In the UK, people have gathered in London's Trafalgar Square and outside the US Embassy in Battersea, while in Manchester there have been protests in the city's St Peter’s Square. More protests are planned for later this week.

At 1pm, those gathered in central London knelt in tribute to Mr Floyd. Those unable to attend the demonstration in person were encouraged to kneel in solidarity at home.

Protesters chanted "black lives matter" and "say my name, George Floyd" while many held placards with the words Mr Floyd said as he died: "Please I can't breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They're going to kill me."

A petition demanding justice for Mr Floyd's death has now received over 8.5 million signatures. You can sign it here.

The Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, started by George's sister Philonise Floyd, has so far raised over $5 million.

The money will go help "to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George."

Many have donated funds to organisations in America which support those arrested whilst protesting, such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund which helps "win landmark legal battles, protect voters across the nation, and advance the cause of racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society."

Protesters in London's Trafalgar Square
Protesters in London's Trafalgar Square. Picture: PA Images

Lizzo, Khalid and Beyoncé are among the many celebrities who have spoken out and offered support following Mr Floyd's death.

"We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalise this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of colour. If you’re white, black, brown or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now," Beyoncé said to her followers on Instagram.

"No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family and humanity. He is our family because he is a fellow American."

"There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings and no consequences. Yes, someone’s been charged, but justice is far from being achieved."

Jason Derulo shared an impassioned video on Instagram: "The sad part is that this kind of thing happens every single day. And most of the time it goes unnoticed. It’s time for us all to come together. We are in a state of emergency."

"I’m afraid for my life, I’m afraid for my families lives and my friends lives. We have to all come together to let our voices be heard. Enough is enough."

Harry Styles and Billie Eilish were two of the artists who shared posts acknowledging white privilege in society.

"I do things every day without fear, because I am privileged, and I am privileged every day because I am white," Harry wrote.

"Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti racist. Social change is enacted when a society mobilizes. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting."

Derek Chauvin, a white police officer charged with murdering Mr Floyd, is due to appear in court on Monday. Three other officers were discharged following the incident and are being investigated.

You can find out more about the Black Lives Matter network here.