The Black Lives Matter Movement has been raging in and around the world for a long time. Racial inequality and disenfranchising people based on race has been going on for a long time. The African-Americans have been persecuted by the lines of the race for hundreds of years. But still, to this day, we see acts of abuse and inequality. The whole world’s rage was unleashed yet again, as George Floyd’s murder at the hands of 3 Policemen happened in broad daylight. Know how the Black Lives Matter movement again had to rise to face racism in 2020.
What Is The Black Lives Matter Movement?
A group of civil rights came about to respond to the extreme police brutality that resulted in 3 African-American men’s shooting death back in 2013. Organizers claim that the movement’s mission is eradicating white supremacy and come up with local power that will intervene in the violence inflicted on the black communities.
When Did It Happen?
Black lives matter began in 2013 in response to acquitting George Zimmerman for shooting dead Trayvon Martin. It basically began with a very simple hashtag dabbed #BlackLivesMatter before people started taking to the streets protesting against violence and inequality. This phrase had previously been used in a post on Facebook by Alicia Garza after Zimmerman’s acquittal in 2013. This phrase was known as “a love letter to black people.” From this phrase, a hashtag was shared, which later led to the birth of a movement online.
Why Did It Happen?
The Black Lives Matter social movement was formed in the US back in 2013. The movement was dedicated to fighting violence against black people and racism in general, especially from police brutality. The name black lives matter basically signals the condemnation of the black people’s unjust killings by the police. This movement happened to demand society to value black people’s lives the same way they value humanity and white people’s lives.
A Timeline of The Black Lives Matter Movement (2020)
The death of a 46-year-old man who happened on May 25, 2020, while he was trying to be arrested by Minneapolis police officers, sparked too much anger across America. This is what led to peaceful demonstrations that were calling for an end to racial injustice. The calls actually spread all over the world, where communities in their thousands showed up in solidarity. This was aimed at demanding changes for their own societies. These protests have led to the toppling of statues and pledges to destroy police departments. Similarly, the protests got the politicians thinking of how to end the discrimination among black people. Below is a detailed timeline of the events that were sparked by the death of Mr. George Floyd.
May 25, 2020
George Floyd, a black man, aged 46 years and a father of 5, dies in Minneapolis police’s hands when being arrested for allegedly using some counterfeit bill. The video footage later circulated on social media that showed a white police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, pinning him hard. This took a period of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, where Floyd was heard saying, “I can’t breathe.” He eventually fell unconscious, and later, he was pronounced dead in a hospital.
May 26, 2020
Minneapolis’s police department issued a “preliminary statement” that never mentioned that a police officer was kneeling on Floyd’s neck. After the famous video footage made rounds on social media, the police department placed 4 officers on an administrative leave that later became a permanent firing the same day. While that was happening, Floyd’s memorial was set up when the man died with so many placards that referenced the movement of Black Lives Matter.
Later that day, people continued accumulating, where they began demonstrating before they headed to the police department’s headquarters. They displayed slogans that included “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Justice for George.” The peaceful demos later spread all over the country as days progressed. Some of these protests became violent either due to rioting or because the police attempted to avert the demos.
May 28, 2020
Minneapolis Mayor by the name Jacob Frey declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor activated the National Guard. Protestors overrun police precinct based in Minneapolis, where the buildings were set ablaze. This was done in demand for charges to be made against the 4 officers who were involved in George Floyd’s arrest.
With protests continuing to spread all over the US, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet where he attributed the violence to poor leadership in Minneapolis and later promised to send the National Guard. Most protesters responded with anger after the president referred to the protesters as “thugs.”
May 29, 2020
The former police officer named Derek Chauvin from the Minneapolis police department got charged with 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter. He was later held at the state prison known as Oak Park Heights. Twitter hid Trump’s tweets that “glorifies violence” since he had promised to deploy force against the protests that were happening in Minneapolis. The secret service agents rushed Trump to some White House bunker as many protesters gathered from the president’s residence.
May 31, 2020
This was the first day that the protests became widespread across the United Kingdom. So many protesters actually gathered in Trafalgar Square as well as outside the US Embassy based in London. Simultaneously, there were huge crowds in other cities like Cardiff, Manchester, and Liverpool.
June 1, 2020
Northumbria police confirmed 3 teenagers got arrested after being suspected of propagating hate crime since they imitated Floyd’s death. The image that was believed to be taken in Gateshead showed a young white man kneeling on his friend’s neck. Both were smiling where the caption read “police brutality.” These two men aged 18 and 19 got detained after being suspected of having sent communications that led to distress and anxiety.
June 3, 2020
Derek Chauvin’s charge was upgraded as 2nd-degree murder. The 3 officers who were fired together with Derek Chauvin were charged as having assisted the 2nd-degree murder.
June 6, 2020
Many people turned out in large numbers in Newcastle city center to be part of the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests. Eyewitnesses estimated about 200 people had gathered along Northumberland Street. At that time, an online protest was watched by not less than 3000 people on the North East Facebook page. In London, scenes became very violent, where a police officer was actually knocked off from their horse along Whitehall.
June 7, 2020
Bristol protesters were seen tying ropes around Edward Colston statue’s neck, a slave trader, after which they pulled the statue down. There were recorded pictures of the protesters kneeling on the statue’s neck before it was rolled down the road and later pushed into the harbor.
June 8, 2020
So many mourners attended the public viewing of George Floyd in Texas. They lined up for so many hours to get into the Fountain of Praise church. Where Floyd attended for most of his life. Floyd was lying in an open gold-colored coffin dressed in some brown suit. In the meantime, democrats proposed legislation of reforming the practices of the police.
June 9, 2020
George Floyd’s funeral began in Houston. Where the family members and the guests filed into the church to pay their last respect. The funeral involved a live broadcast, which was part of George Floyd’s life and a call to action demanding the cessation of police brutality.
June 10, 2020
George Floyd’s brother testified at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the racial profiling issues, police brutality, and the lost trust between the police departments and communities they serve. He actually reminded the panel that the police were called after his brother used a counterfeit bill. Minneapolis police promised reforms saying that the Minneapolis department would withdraw from the union’s contract negotiations.
June 11, 2020
Chi Onwurah, a Newcastle MP, participated in Black Lives Matter’s protest and other politicians based in the BAME community. Participants were pictured out of the Civic Center, where they took their knees and lifted their fist in the air.
June 13, 2020
The Black Lives Matter protestors encountered a counter-protest from a group called Defenders of Newcastle. The white and male-dominated group surrounded the statue that they claimed to be protected from being pulled down by the Black Live Matter movement’s protesters. This was done even though the latter had already contacted the police saying that the statue was safe from vandalism.
Scenes later turned out to be ugly when the riot police came in were bottles and smoke bombs thrown in. Police in Northumbria confirmed that eleven people got arrested after being linked with public order offenses. The next day, the figure rose to thirteen. Meanwhile, the counter-protesters became violent in London, where some were seen attacking police. They also made Nazi salutes claiming that they aimed at defending Churchill’s statue.
With the Black Lives Matter Movement again raising voice in support of positive race relations, the need of the hour is to have proper discussions and share thoughts. Inequality has been rampant not only in the U.S but all over the world. We have to understand values better to promote peaceful and equal resolutions of social issues. But we have to raise our voice whenever violence and inequality against any group occurs.
This year’s chronology’s black lives matter movements only remind us how much there is still to go for racial harmony. But it also shows us that the journey is necessary and will be worth it.