Protests support Floyd, Black Lives Matter on 4 continents

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An Aboriginal man performs a smoking ceremony as protestors gather in Sydney, Saturday, June 6, 2020, to support the cause of U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd. Black Lives Matter protests across Australia proceeded mostly peacefully as thousands of demonstrators in state capitals honored the memory of George Floyd and protested the deaths of indigenous Australians in custody. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY – Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday in cities far from the United States to express anger over the death of George Floyd, a sign that the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality is resonating with wider calls to address racism from Australia to Europe.

In Berlin, where police said 15,000 people rallied on the German capital's Alexander Square, protesters chanted Floyd's name and held up placards with slogans such as “Stop police brutality” and “I can’t breath.”

Floyd, a black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he pleaded for air while handcuffed and stopped moving.

“The killing and these violent physical things that have happened is only just the top of it,” said Lloyd Lawson, 54, who took part in the Berlin protest. “That’s why you’ve got to start right from the bottom, just like an iceberg.”

Some 20,000 people rallied in Munich, while thousands more took part in protests in Frankfurt and Cologne.

In Paris, several thousand demonstrators ignored a protest ban — issued due to the coronavirus pandemic — and assembled within sight of the U.S. Embassy, kept back by imposing barriers and riot police.

Among the crowd in the French capital was Marie Djedje, 14, a Parisian born on July 14, the French national day.

“I was born French, on the day when we celebrate our country. But on a daily basis, I don’t feel that this country accepts me,” she said, holding up a sign that read “Being black is not a crime."