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
Nov 27, 2014

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
Trending Today
What Happens When You Rebel Against the Herd
Sofo Archon · 17,144 views today · Are You Truly Living Your Life? You live, but are you living the way you want to live, or the way others want you to live? You choose, but are your choices based on...
The Coming War on China
John Pilger · 5,248 views today · A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an...
Murdoch and Trump, Sitting at the Tee, S-C-H-E-M-I-N-G
Frankie Boyle · 4,850 views today · Say what you like about Donald Trump but he's already done things people said were impossible, like made Twitter worse. Looking back, the Harambe situation is the closest...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 4,550 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 4,434 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 2,270 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
Thich Nhat Hanh: How We Can Learn to Love Our Enemies
5 min · 1,694 views today · This is a short excerpt from Peacemaking. I often think about this story when I think about the kind of activism I would like to bring into this world. I want to help build a...
What Would It Take to Stop the Raids?
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective · 1,631 views today · Responding Effectively to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attacks
Simple Social Experiment Shows We Are More Than The Boxes People Put Us In
3 min · 1,585 views today · We live in a time where we are quick to put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
3 min · 1,423 views today · In his new film, director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished - a radical narration about race in America, using the writer's original words. He draws...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,319 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Artificial Ethics and the Search for Intelligence
5 min · 1,227 views today · How to stop a robot turning evil.  It's 2027 and Mental Endeavours Ltd has a problem with their flagship robot Günther. How do you program an intelligent machine not to...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,100 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 947 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 903 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 851 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...
Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong
6 min · 840 views today · What causes addiction? Easy, right? Drugs cause addiction. But maybe it is not that simple. This video is adapted from Johann Hari's New York Times best-selling book 'Chasing...
Surviving Capitalist Depression
Michael Emero · 628 views today · We live in a toxic society filled with toxic people. Even the ones with the best hearts- including ourselves- have been raised in ignorance, with disinformation. Our examples...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 595 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...
The Charter For Compassion
2 min · 555 views today · The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Londoners Chant 'Hands Up Don't Shoot' As Ferguson Protests Spread To Europe