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Black Lives Matter protests in London condemn British racism as well as racism in the United States

A protester shouts at Police officers standing on duty outside the entrance to Downing Street on Whitehall during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020.

Thousands of mostly young protesters have marched through central London in a mass Black Lives Matter demonstration. The protest culminated in crowds gathering at the heart of Westminster.

Anger, frustration, pain, and disappointment were all on full display at the black lives matter protest in London on Wednesday. Not only because of the gruesome manner in which George Floyd, an unarmed black man was killed over a week ago.

No, these emotions appeared to be an accumulative response to so many videos over the last decade from the United States showing so many African-American men and women lose their lives at the hands of the very people tasked with protecting them: the United States police force.

Star Wars actor John Boyega motivates protesters in London's Hyde Park. The protest in London was much larger than anticipated with Hollywood actor John Boyega even making an appearance.

Similar protests took place in France, Spain, Greece, and the Netherlands. International solidarity protests have been taking place throughout Europe over the issue of police brutality in the United States but also about the larger issue of systematic racism that is prevalent here in Europe as well as in the US.

We asked protesters in London if they felt they could relate to the racism in the United States that has been witnessed all over social media. The protest was for the most part largely peaceful although there were some violent clashes with protesters directing a great deal of anger towards the British police and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attempting to attack his downing street residence.

Johnson much like his counterpart Donald Trump in the United States has a history of racially offensive rhetoric, with the British prime minister once writing an article referring to black people as "piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles" and said that the main problem with Africa is that the British colonists are no longer in charge.

However, anticipating the anger, Johson has tried to express support for the international black lives matter movement.

Sadly for many of the protesters we spoke to, there was a feeling that this was a pivotal moment for race relations in the UK and US and that sadly the leaders of both countries are more of an obstruction towards racial justice and equality, rather than an asset.

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