Thousands of New Zealanders flood streets for Black Lives Matter rally in support of George Floyd

1 juin 2020 0 Par ADMIN

Kiwis have taken to the streets in New Zealand in support of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.

Protests have erupted all over the world after the death of Mr Floyd at the hands of a white police officer last week, with an estimated 4,000 demonstrators gathering in Auckland on Monday afternoon.

The peaceful Black Lives Matter march went from Aotea Square to the US Consulate, with deafening chants of ‘no justice no peace’, ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘justice for Floyd’ echoing through the city streets.

The march culminated with the protesters kneeling outside the US embassy and a minute of silence in memory of Mr Floyd.

A similar march planned for Sydney’s Hyde Park on Tuesday evening was cancelled after people ‘threatened to wreak havoc and protest against the event’.

Protesters dropped to their knees and raised a fist outside the US embassy in Auckland in protest of the death of George Floyd

Protesters dropped to their knees and raised a fist outside the US embassy in Auckland in protest of the death of George Floyd

Protesters dropped to their knees and raised a fist outside the US embassy in Auckland in protest of the death of George Floyd

Demonstrators flooded the streets with hand made signs in protest of Mr Floyd's horrible death at the hands of a white police officer

Demonstrators flooded the streets with hand made signs in protest of Mr Floyd's horrible death at the hands of a white police officer

Demonstrators flooded the streets with hand made signs in protest of Mr Floyd’s horrible death at the hands of a white police officer

A woman stands proud among protesters on the street in Auckland with a sign that reads 'my skin colour is not a threat'

A woman stands proud among protesters on the street in Auckland with a sign that reads 'my skin colour is not a threat'

A woman stands proud among protesters on the street in Auckland with a sign that reads ‘my skin colour is not a threat’

Organisers called for demonstrators to be vigilant and practice social distancing during the protest, which became difficult as the crowd numbers swarmed into the afternoon.

Tāmaki Makaurau based rapper and organiser of the Auckland Black Lives Matter protest Mazbou Q told The NZ Herald the same levels of racism seen in the United States are prevalent in New Zealand. 

‘We recognise what is going on in the United States is not just about George Floyd, but the ongoing persecution of the black community is an ongoing phenomenon,’ he said.

‘The same white supremacy which has led to disproportionate killings of black people in the US exists here in New Zealand.’

Demonstrators held up signs reading 'I can't breathe' and 'no justice no peace' with chants echoing through the city on Monday afternoon

Demonstrators held up signs reading 'I can't breathe' and 'no justice no peace' with chants echoing through the city on Monday afternoon

Demonstrators held up signs reading ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘no justice no peace’ with chants echoing through the city on Monday afternoon

An estimated 4,000 protesters gathered for the Black Lives Matter march, while other events happened in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington

An estimated 4,000 protesters gathered for the Black Lives Matter march, while other events happened in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington

An estimated 4,000 protesters gathered for the Black Lives Matter march, while other events happened in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington

Rob Gaitau attended the protest in Auckland with his sons Noah and Moses.

He said he was taking a stand with his family to stop the same level of violence from reaching New Zealand. 

‘We are here because when things like that happen over in the United States you need to speak out, in case it happens here,’ he said.

Protests were also held in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on Monday in unity with cities around the world including London and Berlin, while chaotic scenes have continued in the United States.

UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was vocal in the crowd in Auckland during Monday's demonstration

UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was vocal in the crowd in Auckland during Monday's demonstration

UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was vocal in the crowd in Auckland during Monday’s demonstration

Many protesters wore face masks during the peaceful demonstrations which united a broad mix of Kiwis in support of the Black Lives matter movement

Many protesters wore face masks during the peaceful demonstrations which united a broad mix of Kiwis in support of the Black Lives matter movement

Many protesters wore face masks during the peaceful demonstrations which united a broad mix of Kiwis in support of the Black Lives matter movement

Many peaceful protests have turned into full scale riots, with at least 75 cities in America experiencing their sixth consecutive night of demonstrations, with many featuring raids and looting.

At least 40 cities have imposed curfews in light of the riots and violence in a devastating display of civil unrest, with National Guard members being activated in 15 states.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison does not believe violent protests in the United States will bring change after Mr Floyd’s shocking death.  

Mr Morrison said the footage from the US was disturbing.

A man raises his fist while wearing a face mask at the protest. Event organisers called for protesters to practice social distancing, which became difficult as crowd numbers grew

A man raises his fist while wearing a face mask at the protest. Event organisers called for protesters to practice social distancing, which became difficult as crowd numbers grew

A man raises his fist while wearing a face mask at the protest. Event organisers called for protesters to practice social distancing, which became difficult as crowd numbers grew

Protests have continued into the evening, with a vigil being held in Wellington and around 500 people outside Parliament. Pictured: a protester in Auckland

Protests have continued into the evening, with a vigil being held in Wellington and around 500 people outside Parliament. Pictured: a protester in Auckland

Protests have continued into the evening, with a vigil being held in Wellington and around 500 people outside Parliament. Pictured: a protester in Auckland

‘I saw a good meme on the weekend – Martin Luther King didn’t change anything by burning anything down or by looting any shops,’ he told 2GB on Monday.

Mr Morrison said video of the officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck was awful.

‘As upsetting and terrible that the murder that took place – and it is shocking, that also just made me cringe – I just think to myself how wonderful a country is Australia.’

He cautioned against similar demonstrations in Australia turning violent, with local protests planned for later this week.

‘There’s no need to import things happening in other countries here to Australia,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘Australia is not the United States. The United States is a great country.

‘They’re a great friend of Australia and they’re going through a difficult time. We wish them all the best as they deal with that.’

A minute of silence was held in memory of Mr Floyd before the protesters made their way from Aotea Square to the US embassy

A minute of silence was held in memory of Mr Floyd before the protesters made their way from Aotea Square to the US embassy

A minute of silence was held in memory of Mr Floyd before the protesters made their way from Aotea Square to the US embassy