It has been an incredibly historic time in America. Protests over the killing of George Floyd have broken out in all 50 states, in large gatherings in big cities, in small crowds in tiny towns.
Although there have been numerous inspiring moments in the weeks of protests that are still ongoing, here are the top 5 moments that have inspired us.
1. Tamika Mallory’s Viral Speech
Activist Tamika Mallory is not new to the limelight. She was one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March and was included in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people that year.
On May 29th, Tamika gave an electrifying speech at a rally in Minneapolis that took the internet by storm.
“This is a coordinated activity happening across this nation, and so we are in a state of emergency. Black people are dying in a state of emergency,” said Malory. “So if you are not coming to the people’s defense then do not challenge us when young people and other people who are frustrated and instigated by the people you pay. You are paying instigators to be among our people out there throwing rocks, breaking windows and burning down buildings…And so young people are responding to that. They are enraged. And there’s an easy way to stop it. Arrest the cops. Charge the cops. Charge all the cops. Not just some of them. Not just here in Minneapolis. Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered.”
Watch part of the powerful speech below:
2. The human chain of protection
Protests across the country banded together to protect each other, and in one instance, to protect a police officer.
In Louisville, Kentucky, a chain of white women formed a barrier between black protestors and the police, making sure if any force was to come from the police to disband the protest, they would face it first.
In the same city, a group of black men formed a human chain to protect a police officer that was separated from his unit. Although an overwhelming majority of protests are peaceful, there are some who might take the opportunity to take their frustrations out on a police officer. This group of black men made sure that would not happen on their watch.
Meanwhile this iconic shot out of Louisville of protestors protecting a cop who got separated from his unit. pic.twitter.com/4ySpUNjGoa
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) May 31, 2020
3. Massive Crowds Around the World
Protesting in massive crowds is one thing. Protesting in massive crowds during a pandemic is a whole other thing. But that’s exactly what cities around the world did in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. From Auckland, New Zealand to Berlin, Germany, to London, England, to Paris, France, to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The support the global community has shown to the fight for equality is beyond inspiring.
The BLM in America has also inspired other countries to look at the state of racial relations in their own countries.
“While European countries all have differing histories and demographics, their minority black populations are all heavily reliant on white majorities for fair treatment in their everyday lives, with often limited avenues for recourse if that power is abused,” writes Remi Adekoya. “The unfortunate result is that when black people in Europe suffer injustices committed by law enforcement, that suffering often occurs in silence with respect to public discourse.”
4. DC Mayor Paints BLM on the road to the White House
It is no secret that President Trump has been no friend to the Black Lives Matter movement. He has expressed disdain for NFL players taking a knee to protest police brutality and called rioters thugs in the current protest.
On top of that, he had peaceful protestors outside of the white house gassed and cleared so he can have a photo op in front of a church. In response to his action and rhetoric, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had Black Lives Matter painted in huge letters on the road leading to the white house.
Not to be outdone, those who want the mayor to go further than simply embrace the term black lives matter wrote Defund the Police in the same fashion next to her statement.
What else should be painted on DC streets? https://t.co/0AxPuqD0rS
— Georgia Log Cabin (@GeorgiaLogCabin) June 13, 2020
5. Removing Confederate Statues
The case to remove confederate statues has long been a controversial issue that once again gained some momentum during the current uprisings.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that Richmond’s largest Confederate statue, that of Rober E Lee, will be removed. More have already come down in Birmingham and Mobile, Ala.; Louisville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Alexandria, Va., among other places.
This movement is not just contained in the United States.
In Belgium, statues of King Leopold II have become targets of the movement. The king was responsible for a brutal conquest and tyrannical rule over what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing millions of Congolese people.
In London, the statue of 18th century slave owner Robert Milligan was removed from its place in London’s docklands.