Black Lives Matter activist: Our people are uprising in a huge way over George Floyd death

A US Black Lives Matter activist has said the protests in the US over the death of George Floyd feel like a "moment of change".
Black Lives Matter activist: Our people are uprising in a huge way over George Floyd death
Hundreds of demonstrators lie face down depicting George Floyd during his detention by police in a protest against police brutality on Boston Common yesterday. Pic: AP/Steven Senne)

A US Black Lives Matter activist has said the protests in the US over the death of George Floyd feel like a "moment of change".

LA-based Joseph Williams told Newstalk Breakfast this morning that people need to continue to protest despite charges being brought against the officers involved in the incident.

US prosecutors yesterday said Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was sacked following the death of George Floyd, will now face more serious murder charges.

Three other former officers - all of whom were also fired following Mr Floyd's death - have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Mr Williams said the US is currently facing a "reckoning" with an issue that has existed long before he was born.

He said: “We know that before the Black Lives Matter movement there were other movements for justice for black folks in the United States and all of those movements failed to achieve real equality for black people.

“The most striking way we see that is through the continued sanctioned violence and police murder of black people.”.

A protester confronts a line of police in riot gear near midnight last night in Kansas City. Pic: AP/Charlie Riedel)
A protester confronts a line of police in riot gear near midnight last night in Kansas City. Pic: AP/Charlie Riedel)

He suggested that the “callousness” of George Floyd’s death has galvanised people, but that it "absolutely wasn't" an isolated incident.

He observed: “Here in LA, in Atlanta, in Louisville, in Minneapolis, in New York… we’re uprising for George Floyd, but we’re also uprising for all of our stolen relatives, who had their lives stolen from them by police, and for all the other injustices that our community continues to face.

It absolutely feels like the world is watching in some ways - and not just that the world is watching, but that our people are uprising in a huge way.

Mr Williams said the current moment is partially a consequence of the organising that has been done in the past seven years, and that it feels like a "moment of change".

He said that while developments such as the officers being charged are ‘huge’, activists can't 'let that be the end' of their efforts to secure permanent change.

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox