Nigeria-Africa-George Floyd

How Africa stood up for George Floyd!

APA-Lagos (Nigeria)

Africa has not been left behind in the international campaign against racism sparked by the death in US police custody of black American George Floyd.

Channeled under the Black Lives Matter movement, the indignation sparked by the sight of a white police officer violently jerking his knee on the neck of a helpless Floyd for over eight minutes had taken the whole world by storm.

For once it briefly dwarfed the ongoing campaign against the coronavirus crisis as Africans with their blood boiling, tossed aside their fear of an insidious virus to vent their spleen against what many now see as a "global racism pandemic". 

From Accra, Kigali, Juba to Johannesburg, Maputo, Nairobi and Kampala, Africans on the continent also felt this was their fight, made all the more familiar by their experience under white domination which only ended in the second half of the last century.

“African-Americans are after all true-blooded Africans from our continent” Samba Ceesay tells the African Press Agency in The Gambia where protests for the killing of one of its citizens shortly after Floyd's murder were to have been staged but for concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

In Kenya graffitis with portraits of George Floyd adorn whole districts of the capital Nairobi as demonstrators directed angry rhetoric at the US, a country they accused of institutionalising racism for many years. 

Protesters there also directed their anger at local police for their alleged heavy-handedness in breaking up gatherings defying a Covid-19 curfew in Nairobi weeks ago.

In South Africa which has a history of militancy against racism under apartheid, the protests were more vociferous.

Donning mournful black "I can't Breathe" T-Shirts, in reference to Floyd's own remonstrance with his police tormentor, South African protesters knelt on one knee in front of the US embassy in Pretoria to denounce racism everywhere especially that committed against the black race.  

They were mainly opposition activists and sympathisers up in arms against police brutality not only in the United States but elsewhere in the world.

"It's time for black solidarity all over the world" read one banner.

 Speaking on the occasion opposition leader Julius Malema said Black Lives Matter does not mean that other lives do not matter.

Ethiopians based in the US have also found their voice against injustices against black communities in that country.   

They had been part of street protests sweeping across the US and to many the climax of their anger will be demonstrated when the world's most powerful democracy goes to the polls later this year to cement Donald Trump's place as a one-term or two-term president.  

In Accra, President Nana Akufo-Addo sent a personal message to the Floyd family in the United States condoling with them over their loss.

Ghanaians and members of the African-American community in the country staged a joint protest, demanding justice for the George Floyds of this world who have been at the receiving end of violent crimes over the colour of their skin.

Meanwhile, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the leading light at the African Union Commission sees Floyd's death as murder most foul and called out persistent “discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.”

He had echoed the strong sentiments of many other Africans who may not have taken active part in George Floyd protests on the continent but still privately expressed disgust at racist incidents in the United States concerning black people.

Floyd's murder has even drawn unequivocal condemnations from US diplomatic missions in Uganda and Zimbabwe and members of the African diaspora in the United States and Europe.


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