Since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota – a black man brutally murdered at the hands of a white police officer – protests and uprisings have swept across all 50 American states against endemic racism, oppression and the unchecked power and violence of the police. Most have been peaceful movements filled with anger and sadness; many have been met with the same police brutality they are marching against. Vigils held in memory of George Floyd have become remembrances and a rallying cry for all black and brown people – from Eric Garner, to Breonna Taylor, and countless others – whose lives have been snatched from them unprovoked by law enforcement and white supremacists. The protests have even spread throughout the world – people standing in solidarity against this injustice and inequality calling out “black lives matter”.
Staff, freelancers and volunteers from US-based street papers were present at a number of protests across the country. Street papers stand with activists for the social change they seek: an end to oppression and deep-rooted, systemic inequalities. That imbalance has been thrown into stark focus this year by the coronavirus pandemic, as people from minority communities have experienced disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 deaths. It has been highlighted by the slow rush to proper justice for young black men and women, like Ahmaud Arbery, shot to death by white men in broad daylight.
The following are snapshots from protests in Washington DC, Portland, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Chicago and Seattle that took place since the death of George Floyd.