Below is the statement of Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Member of the European Parliament (representing the Green Party of Germany), on the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, on Monday, 25 May 2020, in Minneapolis. “I can’t breathe,” he protested as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for 9 minutes whilst 3 other officers stood by and watched.
The death of George Floyd, yet another African American murdered by police. triggered an explosion of anger in the United States and demonstrations against police brutality in several cities in the country: New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, Seattle, Des Moines, Memphis, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Portland, Chicago and the capital, Washington.
In Europe too, people have taken to the streets because of this inhuman act. The whole world is appalled.
COVID-19 restrictions have not stopped people from demonstrating – in London, Berlin and Amsterdam people came together to remind the world that Black Lives Matter and that we stand in solidarity with our cousins in the USA. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, solidarity demonstrations are not possible in the European Parliament, but as a sign of our solidarity we will organise a webinar, online seminar, this week.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or we will all die together like idiots,” said Martin Luther King
Even today, the slogans of African-American demonstrators reveal the despair and malaise that reign in American society, however the fight against racism continues:
“Our skin colour is not a crime” is one of the many protest slogans that we have seen in the past week. This is the poignant symbol of persecution of the Black community in the United States and racism in the rest of the world, including Europe, Canada, Australia, China, in the Caribbean, Pacific and elsewhere.
As the protests rage on in America, we must not ignore the fact that police brutality is rampant here in Europe as well. During the COVID-19 lockdown young people of colour have died at the hands of police both in Belgium and France, and there has been a noted increase in police aggression, especially towards marginalised communities.
In our condemnation of the events taking place in America, we must not ignore what is going on in our own home.
“Black Lives Matter”
“I can’t breathe,” George Floyd protested as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for 9 minutes whilst 3 other officers stood by and watched.
Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with “manslaughter” and “cruel and dangerous deed resulting in death”.
The scene was filmed and caused outrage around the world. Once again an innocent and unarmed Black man was murdered by the police.
We are angry, powerless and desperate, as many Blacks, Africans, Afro-Europeans and African-Americans have said and repeated in the last weeks and years. Despite peaceful demonstrations, petitions and political commitments by the Black community, police violence against Black people continues.
My wish for the current generation and especially for the Black community is that we, once again, find the strength to carry on, to continue our daily lives, to continue to believe in justice and to fight against racism, which is a poison that plagues society.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character,” said Dr. Luther King on 28 August 1963.
Why hasn’t Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream come true after more than half a century? When will this become reality? When will it come true?