Thousands defy mass-gathering ban in the UK

Thousands defy mass-gathering ban in the UK

LONDON – Despite the ban of mass gatherings in Britain, thousands of people gathered Sunday in London and Manchester to protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man suffocated to death by a white police officer in the midwestern US state of Minnesota on Monday.

Chanting “no justice, no peace”, the protesters gathered in London’s landmark Trafalgar Square shortly after 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) before marching through Westminster to Downing Street.

Videos posted on Twitter showed people shouting “I can’t breathe” on the square. Taking to their knee, they also chanted “George Floyd”, as some of them held banners reading “Black Lives Matter”.

Protests were also held in Manchester and outside the US embassy in London.

Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police said on its Twitter account that police are aware of demonstrators gathering outside the US embassy.

“Officers are on scene and engaging with those in attendance. An appropriate policing plan is in place,” it added.

Protesters continued to take to the streets on Saturday in at least 30 US cities over the death of Floyd.

As many as 25 cities across 16 US states have imposed curfews while at least eight states and Washington D.C. have called on the National Guard to help respond to protests and unrest as of Saturday.

Nearly 1,400 people have been arrested during the protests in 17 cities since Thursday, according to an AP tally, which added that the actual number is likely higher as protests continue on Saturday night.

In Washington D.C. on Saturday, protesters gathered outside the White House for the second straight day, chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe.” (Xinhua)