Actor Jimmy Akingbola discusses joining Black Lives Matter protests

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Actor Jimmy Akingbola said he felt compelled to join the Black Lives Matter protests in London in order to keep up the pressure for change.

The star of TV comedy In The Long Run joined demonstrations in the capital following the death of George Floyd, who died in the US after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Special Screening – London
Actor Jimmy Akingbola has explained why he felt compelled to join the Black Lives Matter protests (Ian West/PA)

The protests, which began in Minneapolis in May before quickly spreading around the globe, took place in London during lockdown.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Akingbola acknowledged the danger of mass gatherings amid a pandemic but said people’s anger justified taking to the streets.

He said: “It’s a tough one. In terms of the protests: yeah, I self-distance, but I went to the first one at Trafalgar Square.

“But when you look at something like the BLM movement: I was at home, about to read a friend’s script, and I was like, I can’t be at home. This is bigger than anything. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to be able to look in my nephew’s eyes. ‘What did you do, uncle?’ ‘I went on a march’.”

Akingbola added: “I feel like we need to keep protesting, otherwise things won’t change.”

Acknowledging the danger of mass gatherings, he said: “But it’s a time when you can’t be silent. You can’t be still. You have to act. The globe is angry and ready to make change. I really feel like this is a turning point. We have to keep the foot on the pedal.”

Read the full interview in the Radio Times.

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