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A protester holds a banner in memory of John Amadi, a Nigerian asylum-seeker who died aged 19 in 2001 in police custody in Germany, at the ‘No to Racism’ rally in Berlin, Saturday, 6 June/Photo: Femi Awoniyi

George Floyd: We should focus on Afrophobia – Zentralrat’s statement

The following is the statement issued by the Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland (Central Council of the African Community in Germany or ZAGD), an umbrella body for African associations in Germany, on the worldwide protests on the police murder of George Floyd on 25 May in the American city of Minneapolis.

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Police Violence, Racism and Afrophobia!

We, the Central Council of the African Community in Germany, express our deep sympathy and condolences to the family and relatives of George Floyd. We
are in your thoughts.

On 25 May 2020, police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, an innocent and unarmed Black American.

George Floyd’s last words “I Can’t Breathe” and the circumstances that led to his death have led to protests not only in the United States but also, in solidarity, worldwide.

In England, France, Germany and other countries, thousands of people came together and chanted that it was enough! Many protested under the motto #ICantBreathe against police violence, discrimination and racism.

The crime against George Floyd is not an isolated crime. Crimes like this are the consequences of a society that has been based on a racist system for centuries! Many societies in which people of African origin live in the diaspora are faced with the systemic character of racism.

Examples such as the case of Oury Jalloh in 2005, about which there is still no clarification until today, prove that violence against people of African origin is also a deep problem in Germany.

In 2019, Tonou-Mboda died in Hamburg-Eppendorf after being violently pinned to the floor. It is the racist acts of violence against people of African origin during the Corona crisis in China, the racist acts of violence against people of African descent in Lebanon or in Libya or Morocco that also do not let us breathe. These people experience little to no publicly expressed solidarity. #LeaveNoOneBehind!

We deliberately ask provocatively, where is the solidarity for Black people who are not from the diaspora or who are just the first generation of migrants?

ZAGD e.V. regrets that there is not enough talk about Afrophobia as one of the core elements of racism against Black people.

We expect this topic to be discussed and recognized in public spaces. It is necessary to act against racism, police violence and discrimination, but to see fundamental changes, we have to work against all forms of racism and must not let Afrophobia out of the discussion!

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