Londoners Chant 'Hands Up Don't Shoot' As Ferguson Protests Spread To Europe
Londoners Chant 'Hands Up Don't Shoot' As Ferguson Protests Spread To Europe
By Brian Whelan and Megan Specia / mashable.com

Demonstrators gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in London on Wednesday night in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson.

The protesters in London chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot,” a slogan made popular by American demonstrators after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager on Aug. 9, sparking protests in Ferguson and beyond.

At 5:30 pm, people gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square to condemn the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson, a white officer.

Demonstrators from the group ‘Stand Up to Racism’ said the issue of police brutality is as pressing in Britain as it is in the United States, and that the Ferguson protests echoes the 2011 protests in the UK that became known as the London riots.

 
Central London march in support of Ferguson protests

People marching through Central London supporting the protests in Ferguson. IMAGE: ANDREA BALDO/GETTY

Speakers at the early evening rally in front of the embassy included relatives of Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old black musician who died in police custody in Brixton in 2008, and the family of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old man from Tottenham who was shot and killed by police on Aug. 4, 2011 — an event that helped spark the London riots.

In both cases, official investigators found no wrongdoing by police.

A second protest, organized by the London Black Revolutionaries – also known as the Black revs – followed around 7 pm, drawing many more people to the embassy on Grosvenor Square.

The group mostly comprises young black and Asian activists from London's suburbs who say they are fed up with the lack of militancy from political organizations campaigning around racism and inequality in the UK.

One event organizer, who spoke on the condition he only be identified as AJ, said the group had decided to protest as soon as they heard that Wilson wouldn’t be indicted in the killing of Brown.

"Ferguson has a lot of parallels with the UK," AJ said, but added that, "America has this huge political legacy hanging over it that shapes their racial and political questions...Politically, we are just starting out."

Speakers referenced Bloody Sunday, the killing of 26 civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland by police in 1972, as well as more contemporary issues such as police profiling Muslims. Throughout the demonstration, protesters chanted, “fuck the police.”

“We extend our full support to those resisting police brutality in Ferguson and their right to defend themselves, and urge that Black people on both sides of the Atlantic unify around and mobilise against the institutional violence that plagues our communities in the UK and the USA,” a post on the group’s Facebook page said.

After about an hour and a half, a breakaway group marched up Bond Street and Regent Street, led by a woman wearing leggings and a black balaclava. Demonstrators carrying placards saying, ‘black lives matter’ shut down traffic and left a trail of graffiti on the upscale shopping streets, spelling out, ‘all cops are bastards' as well as 'Justice 4 Mike Brown.'

Graffiti for Mike Brown pic.twitter.com/nu5JhusyVz

— Brian Whelan (@brianwhelanhack) November 26, 2014

After passing through Leicester Square, protesters surrounded the Charing Cross police station in a tense standoff, though police officers kept their distance and never engaged protesters directly. Unlike their Ferguson counterparts, the London police did not come out wearing riot gear and heavy weaponry but were dressed instead in bright yellow vests and police caps.

Crowd has surrounded Charing Cross police stationpic.twitter.com/bXIOymCSvt

— Brian Whelan (@brianwhelanhack) November 26, 2014

As the rain came down, protesters marched toward Downing Street and Parliament Square, with the demonstration eventually petering out around midnight.

March is STILL going, but it's really wet now and we are headed to Trafalgar... pic.twitter.com/t1w9XRnACT

— Brian Whelan (@brianwhelanhack) November 26, 2014

Brian Whelan is a journalist with Channel 4 News in London.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left
Arun Gupta · 10,673 views today · The Left should take the Trump threat very seriously.
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 10,180 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 9,603 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 8,855 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 6,282 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 5,493 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Maya Angelou's 3-Word Secret to Living Your Best Life
3 min · 5,484 views today · Dr. Maya Angelou says that in order to be the best human being you can be, you must follow one simple directive: "Just do right." Watch as Dr. Angelou reveals how you can never...
Forest Man
16 min · 5,197 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,898 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Doctors Response to Daily Mail Bigotry is Beautiful
Neil Tiwari · 3,823 views today · A poetic open letter to the Daily Mail newspaper from Dr. Neil Tiwari, in response to a bigoted attack on his colleagues, is going viral and it's beautiful.
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 3,784 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object?
3 min · 3,119 views today · How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object? Spoken...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 3,105 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
Fighting Trump - Residents Opposing Donald Trump's Scottish Golf Resort
14 min · 3,096 views today · Documentary on the residents protesting against Donald Trump's golf development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Directed and Presented by James Trosh.
Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth but Activism at the Grass-Roots
Ilze Peterson · 3,028 views today · Many years ago, the late Judy Guay, a low-income woman from Bangor, founded the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods in order to advocate for the neediest in our...
10 Shocking Facts About Society That We Absurdly Accept As Normal
Joe Martino · 2,326 views today · When you take a moment and look around at the world, things can appear pretty messed up. Take 5 or 10 minutes and watch the 6 o’clock news. Chances are, the entire time, all...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 2,268 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Capitalism Is Just a Story - Rise Up and Create a New One
6 min · 1,800 views today · How many of us have a sneaking suspicion that something pretty fundamental is going wrong in the world? We keep hearing about the potentially devastating consequences of...
Do You Have Time to Love?
Thich Nhat Hanh · 1,635 views today · The greatest gift you can offer loved ones is your true presence.
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 1,594 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Londoners Chant 'Hands Up Don't Shoot' As Ferguson Protests Spread To Europe