Protests engulfing the United States over George Floyd’s death echoed on the other side of the world Monday as thousands marched in solidarity on the streets of New Zealand.
The demonstration was peaceful, in contrast to the days of violent protests in the US after Floyd, an African-American, died after being handcuffed and a white police officer, who has since been accused of murder, knelt on his neck.
In Auckland, around 2,000 people marched to the US Consulate shouting “no justice, no peace” and “important black people”.
Another 500 gathered in Christchurch, and large crowds were expected to maintain the candlelight vigil outside the parliament building in Wellington.
Nigerian-New Zealand musician Mazbou Q, who organized the protest, said the meeting was not only about Floyd’s death.
“Continued persecution of the black community is a continuing phenomenon. The same white supremacy that has led to disproportionate killing of black people in the US is here in New Zealand,” he told the crowd.
“We are proud to be a nation of empathy, kindness and love. But the silence from the government and the media does not reflect that at all. In fact, it makes us involved.
In Christchurch, where 51 people were killed by self-proclaimed white supremacy last year, a speaker, Josephine Varghese, told the crowd: “We demand racial and economic justice. Black problems, real life problems, Muslim life problems.”
The police maintained an insignificant presence because the protesters opposed strict regulations on the corona virus which demanded meetings be limited to a maximum of 100 people, who must maintain social distance.
New Zealand is on the verge of removing coronavirus without a new case for 10 days. Of the 1,154 confirmed cases, only one remained active.
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