As tears continue to reverberate, worldwide, UKs second city demands ‘justice and peace’
The cry of “I Can’t Breathe” was the ‘soundtrack’ as thousands upon thousands of people converged onto Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square to pay the homage to the murdered George Floyd – as well as the vast number of similar cases that have taken place in custody, in police stations in the West Midlands.
With a figure well in excess of the mentioned 5,000 at its height, this prelude to the memorial in honour of George Floyd, the largest outside London, had to be moved from its original Victoria Square because of the numbers that organisers were anticipated with all who turned out – those being Black, White, Asian and others from the multi-cultural UK, men women and children - added to what was a well underestimated total.
With it being the largest demonstration ever seen in the region, every ‘Man-Jack’ of this immensely mass crowd craved for change in their lives here in Britain today..
And as the cries of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” bellowed beyond what felt like the length and breadth of the city’s well-worn Broad Street,
As George Floyd died under a policeman’s knee in Minneapolis, in the US, that too-regular occurrence proved one too many for the world to ignore.
The demonstration was a truly significant step forward after decades of similarly brutal deaths carried out by rogue officers.
This was a ‘game-changer’ as Birmingham’s young and out – though mainly young – became one massively loud voice against very-precedentedly racially motivated police interventions, too many of which go unrecorded.
With that in mind, and with messages made clear, the crowd then snaked their way throughout the city centre streets to then gather outside the West Midlands Police’s Lloyd House headquarters, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, to again voice their disgust at the murder in the US and the likewise incidences in their region.
The 8mins 46secs representing the length of time the ex-police officer Derek Chauvin forced his knee on 29-year-old Floyd’s neck – aided and abetted by the other three officers on the scene.
In a star-studded memorial in America, Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Activist Reverend Al Sharpton said; “George died of a regular American malfunction”.
"When you see people gathering and marching throughout the UK, in Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Israel and Spain, among other countries around the world, it proved that it’s a different time – a different season.
Making a barbed comment about President Trump’s photo opportunity, taken after the murder; and the inflammatory remarks he made, Rev. Sharpton said: “Don’t use the Bible as a prop.
“It’s time for a change - It’s time for you to get your ‘knee off our neck’ so we can flourish”.
That was the very plea which reverberated around Chamberlain Square - some six thousand miles away.
But very relevant in the UK today.