A movement not a moment: Britons pay tribute to George Floyd a year since death

·2-min read

Demonstrators taking one knee across Britain on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death have said the tributes help to ensure the Black Lives Matter movement is “not just a moment”.

On Tuesday, crowds gathered in dozens in city centres across Britain and took a knee as part of co-ordinated tributes to Mr Floyd, while many demonstrated individually at home or their workplace.

White former police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was last month found guilty of the murder and manslaughter of Mr Floyd on May 25 2020, after kneeling on his neck for nine minutes – a killing that sparked anti-racism protests worldwide.

The organised demonstrations form part of a week of action organised by Stand Up To Racism and the Trades Union Congress, which has seen crowds of hundreds gather in cities including London, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

People take part in a Take The Knee event outside the Guildhall, Southampton
People take part in a Take The Knee event outside the Guildhall, Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA)

James Eaden joined around 50 people at Rykneld Square in Chesterfield as part of the action, which he said was an “important part” of continuing the message of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Black Lives Matter has to be a ‘movement and not just a moment’,” Mr Eaden told the PA news agency.

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“We have made important strides in taking an anti-racist message into our community… but racism continues.”

Vineeth Ravindran, an NHS cardio-respiratory physiotherapist, organised the taking of the knee with his colleagues at Borders General Hospital in Melrose, Scotland.

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“It was very relevant for all of us to reflect upon George’s death today to stand up against racism and embrace cohesive community spirit to reduce health inequalities,” the 45-year-old said.

“Especially after the pandemic, we want to create an environment where everyone feels valued.”

Johanna, a writer who did not wish to share her second name, joined the tributes by kneeling on her doorstep in Bristol.

Johanna joined the tributes on her doorstep in Bristol (PA)
Johanna joined the tributes on her doorstep in Bristol (PA)

“I took part in the tribute to George Floyd because I believe that all people deserve equal rights and respect,” she said.

“It can be hard for white people to understand the depth of the problem, especially if they have had hard lives themselves.

“However, I believe it is the responsibility of every good person to use their voice to try to end these injustices.”