June 3, 2020 by Ellis Dixon
Black Lives Matter Protest in Portugal
The world was shaken on May 25 when we saw the horrific images of the 46-year-old African-American George Floyd lying on the pavement under the knee of a Minneapolis policeman. After eight minutes of this abuse, Floyd died, despite having said that he couldn’t breathe.
Since then, there have been riots, marches, and looting, spurring a Presidential photo-op in front of a church (in which said president had never prayed, knelt, or set foot inside), and a new mandatory evening curfew in some states.
Regardless of your personal stance on these actions by protestors (and those seeking to benefit from the chaos), we can all agree that the millions lost in recent theft and property damage in the U.S.A. doesn’t come close to speaking for the millions of black people in fear of being victims of the police.
Kneeling during the National Anthem was clearly not enough to wake us up because now…we are here. Actually, we are still here. Many European capitals including Paris, London, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and more have already been packed with protestors seeking equality, diversity, and an end to racism and police brutality. Now it’s Portugal’s turn. The first protest will take place on Friday, June 5 at 23h20 in front of the American Embassy in Lisbon, and at currently undisclosed locations in Coimbra and Porto. There is another set for the following day at 16h45, starting outside Alameda metro station.
Portugal’s Polícia de Segurança Pública has positioned itself against racial discrimination by observing #blackouttuesday and intend to keep Friday and Saturday’s protestors safe unlike the 29 demonstrators in Istanbul who were detained after peacefully protesting in solidarity with the U.S.A. earlier this week.