Yes, the bulk of the #BlackLivesMatter protests have been happening in the United States—and in all 50 of them, may we add—but what has perhaps not been getting as much attention as it should is the fact that this movement is a global one.
The United States is not the only country with a corrupt police system, and it is certainly not the only country with its fair share of race issues, specifically when it comes to racism and discrimination against black people. With social media allowing news to spread around the world faster than ever before, it also allows for more support and energy to pour in, even from places one may not expect.
French protestors quickly moved to action and organized thousands of people to call for change throughout the country. The death of George Floyd in the US recalled to memory the death of Adama Traore in France, a case in 2016 which called attention to the racism in the country’s police force. The protests have managed to prompt a new ban on chokeholds on those in police custody in France.
In Australia, Black Lives Matter protests recalled to mind the horrid treatment of Indigenous Australians by the country’s police. While the tens of thousands of people who marched and protested did so in support of Black Lives Matter in Australia, they also risked their lives and prosecution for gathering during the quarantine in order to once again call for the end to Indigenous deaths by the hands of police officers.
Protests have spread across the United Kingdom as well, the main ones being held in front of the UK Parliament and the US Embassy in London. A powerful statement through action came from the city of Bristol, England, where protestors were able to tear down a long-contended statue of Edward Colston, a figure in the rise of slave trafficking from Africa to the Americas.
Japanese citizens are also mobilizing across Osaka and Tokyo, hoping that their message will be heard despite the unwillingness of Japanese media to discuss difficult topics such as racial discrimination. Teaming up with non-Japanese residents, Japanese people have been seen marching with signs that call for black lives to matter no matter the language, no matter the country.
These are just a handful of the wave of protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the end of police brutality. What does this mean exactly? It means the entire world is feeling the pain of the black community, and the world is on your side.