Allies in London and Paris have joined the ongoing protests occurring nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed as a result of police violence on May 25 in Minneapolis. Among those lending their voices in support of Black Lives Matter is John Boyega, who joined protesters in London’s Hyde Park on June 3. The Evening Standard reports that Boyega was one of thousands of protesters in attendance, many of whom were also honoring the memory of Belly Mujinga—a railway worker who died due to complications from COVID-19 in April, just one month after an altercation in which Mujinga was assaulted by a man who spat in her face and claimed to have been infected by the virus. Nevertheless, the BBC reports that the British Transport Police determined that Mujinga’s death “was not a consequence” of that incident.
Following his recent shutdowns of racist trolls on social media, Boyega appeared at the Hyde Park protest, where he delivered a moving speech that was shared by CBS News’ Haley Ott and picked up by NME. “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” said Boyega.
“Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that,” the actor said. “Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.”
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I need you to understand how painful this shit is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing — and that isn’t the case anymore, that was never the case. We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence, for Mark Duggan.
The actor went on to ask protesters to remain “as peaceful as possible.” Referencing law enforcement, Boyega said, “They want us to mess up, they want us to be disorganized—but not today.”