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Dozens take a knee for George Floyd in peaceful Edinburgh protest

UK News | Published:

Around 50-60 people gathered in Parliament Square at 6pm and observed social distancing measures while also wearing masks.

Black Lives Matter protest

Dozens of protesters have taken a knee for George Floyd during peaceful action in Edinburgh.

Mr Floyd died in police custody in the US after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking international protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 46-year-old could be heard pleading for air in videos filmed by onlookers.

On Wednesday night crowds gathered in the Scottish capital for the event organised by Stand Up To Racism, with many others said to have joined in across the country.

Black Lives Matter protest
The protest was organised by Stand Up To Racism Scotland outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Around 50-60 people gathered at 6pm in Parliament Square outside St Giles’ Cathedral and observed social distancing measures while also wearing masks.

Police were joined by liaison officers for the short protest until it finished 15 minutes later.

Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co-convenor, said: “Our deepest condolences go to George Floyd’s loved ones.

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“We are outraged that yet another black person has been killed at the hands of the police in the US and instead of calling for justice for George Floyd, Donald Trump chooses to inflame racism by threatening military action on protesters.

“The events unfolding in the US are a product of hundreds of years of racism and oppression of black communities, which has led to countless lives lost.

“We understand the anger that has motivated people to come out and protest across the US and also here in Britain.

Black Lives Matter protest
A protestor in Edinburgh’s Parliament square on Wednesday (Jane Barlow/PA)

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“We must remember that we are in the midst of the deadly coronavirus global pandemic and that tens of thousands of BAME communities have died disproportionately as a result of this.

“We share the concerns of many scientists regarding the premature easing of the lockdown and the disproportionate impact this could have on BAME communities.

“BAME communities are suffering disproportionately from Covid-19, economic decline and police brutality.

“We call on people to ‘take the knee’ on their doorstep in solidarity with George Floyd.

“We stand for justice for George Floyd and say Black Lives Matter.”

Another rally is being planned on Sunday by another group in Edinburgh.

From 1pm protesters will meet opposite the US Consulate before going into nearby Holyrood Park.

Organisers of the Edinburgh in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter rally met Edinburgh City Council and Police Scotland officials on Wednesday to discuss the event.

The “peaceful, static protest” will include “speeches and performances from black community organisers and artists”.

Graffiti
Graffiti along the sea wall near Portobello, Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Meanwhile a man has been arrested by officers in Fife in connection with a social media image of Mr Floyd.

Police Scotland said the 26-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday and inquiries into the incident continue.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers in Fife have arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with an image relating to the death in the United States of George Floyd which has been circulating on social media.

“Inquiries into the incident, which was reported to Police Scotland on Tuesday June 2 2020, are ongoing.”

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