Here’s how the world is standing up for Black Lives Matter - and what you can do to help

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 2:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 2:49 pm
Beyond the US, last week saw demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, London to protest the death of George Floyd (Credit: Getty Images)
Beyond the US, last week saw demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, London to protest the death of George Floyd (Credit: Getty Images)

Protests are taking place all over the world following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the US city of Minneapolis, last week.

After Floyd’s death, video footage soon emerged on social media of Mr Floyd laying defenceless as a white police officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes, as Mr Floyd cried, “I can’t breathe”. Mr Floyd was later taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Floyd cried, “I can’t breathe” as a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. (Credit: @RuthForHouse)

Where are the protests happening?

Currently, several US cities – including New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta – have seen violent clashes between police and protesters.

The Black Lives Matter website created a protest mapping tool, which lists 322 places in the US as the site of recent or ongoing protests, as well as elsewhere in the world.

Beyond the US, last week saw demonstrations in London, Dublin, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan and Rio de Janeiro among several others.

However, the protests have now spread from the streets and onto social media, as the world shows its support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Social media blackout protest

In response to the atrocity, the hashtag #blackouttuesday began trending on social media in the early hours of 2 June.

Social media sites such as instagram have seen users posting a single black image to their feed, along with the hashtag, to show solidarity for the protests and with the Black Lives Matter campaign.

While supportive of the ongoing protests, activist and actress Jameela Jamil chose not to participate in the social media blackout, after sharing concerns that it would stop the public from being able to witness injustices being captured on film during the ongoing US protests.

Writing on her instagram, the Good Place star said, “I’m personally not engaging in the blackout”

“It was supposed to just be for the music industry but has caught on at the worst time. We need information, education and donation.

“Instead of blackout, only highlight black activists, educational content, donation information, and imagery that depicts the truth of the protests.”

However, American singer Yung Baby Tate defended the social media blackout on her twitter, saying, “I don’t think the purpose of the blackout is to stop posting everything, it’s to stop posting your own personal content for at least one day.

“Keep people informed. Don’t stop THAT. But we don’t want to see your new single artwork or hair review or flash sale or selfies today."

How else are people showing support online?

Additionally, many users are using their Instagram stories to explain the ways in which they are educating themselves on racial injustices.

Book lists featuring titles such as How to be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi, Me and White supremacy by Layla F Saad, and Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo Lodge are making their rounds on the platform.

Celebrities like Lizzo are sharing their favourite activist accounts, including @blackvisionscollective, @reclaimtheblock, as well as @nowhitesaviors, @rachel.cargle and @ibramxk.

Additionally, Rihanna announced that her Fenty beauty label would not conduct any business during the online blackout protest .

Radio 1Xtra’s special broadcast

In “support of the black community in the UK and around the world”, the BBC has announced that Radio 1Xtra will broadcast a special programme on featuring music and debates amid protests in the UK and the rest of the world, set off by the death of George Floyd.

“We know so many struggle to get their voices heard so we want to invite you to get involved and share your experiences on 1Xtra,” the station said.

“Tomorrow we will be hosting a special 1Xtra Talks surrounding the death of George Floyd, racism and recent events.”

When will this special broadcast air?

The extended 1Xtra Talks special will be hosted by Seani B and DJ Ace and will air on Tuesday 2 June from 6pm to 8pm.

The station has said it will play music focused on black pride and identity, while also giving listeners a chance to share their own views on recent events, as well as broader discussions on racial injustice.

DJ Ace said, “This is a conversation that is long overdue.

“It’s sad that it’s taken recent events to make it happen but I’m more than ready to help facilitate a platform for dialogue, a chance to vent pain and frustration and hopefully a catalyst to spark some change.”

How can I help?

If you wish to help the Black Lives Matter cause, the human rights movement has shared insightful ways for people across the globe to get involved.

The Black Lives Matter website details the variety of petitions to sign, and places to donate.

The family of George Floyd have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs for his memorial and burial.

The GoFundMe page has so far raised $8,696,590 raised of the $1,500,000 target.

Additionally, you can donate to the Resourcing Racial Justice Fund, a new UK-wide funding pool working towards racial justice.