May 31, 2020 | 1: 29pm | Updated May 31, 2020 | 1: 31pm
The outrage over the death of George Floyd has gone global.
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of London, Berlin and Toronto over the weekend to protest Floyd’s Memorial Day death during a confrontation with Minneapolis police, according to news reports.
Chanting “black lives matter” and holding signs that read “Justice for George Floyd” and “racism has no place,” protesters gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square Sunday and blocked traffic outside the US embassy, the largest public gatherings since the coronavirus lockdown took effect, the BBC reported.
“I’m very sympathetic to the issue but also surprised to see the strength of emotion that has gathered people together,” the Rev. Sally Hitchiner, associated vicar at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in the square, told the outlet.
“Clearly they’re not following lockdown and social distancing, but I think there’s a huge amount of passion there and that’s overriding their concerns,” Hiitchiner said. “It’s an issue that requires passion but at the same time there’s a huge amount of risk in what they’re doing.”
The BBC said “several people” were arrested.
Floyd, 46, died Monday after being pinned to the ground by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin despite his repeated pleas for air.
On Saturday, protests erupted in Germany, where thousands gathered outside the US embassy in Berlin, demonstrators held up signs reading, “I can’t breathe,” NBC News said.
Video footage posted on Twitter by NBC correspondent Carl Nasman shows a large crowd outside the embassy, peacefully clapping in protest.
And in Toronto, as many as 4,000 demonstrators marched on Saturday. A video posted by Global Toronto journalist Albert Delitala on Twitter shows protesters marching down Brunswick Avenue in the Canadian city.