The Struggle Against Police Is International. Our Solidarity Must Be Global.
Protesters raise a fist during a march on June 10, 2020, in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.YANN SCHREIBER / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
The current uprising against racist police violence first erupted in the U.S., but it has now become an international movement.
Since these killings, young communists in Greece marched to the U.S. embassy in Athens to protest Floyd’s murder. In Rome, members of the Migrant Women and Daughters Network stood in front of a war memorial and held signs that said “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter: Justice for George Floyd.” In Amsterdam, thousands packed into Dam Square.
These global expressions of solidarity underscore a long simmering discontent with state violence against Black and Indigenous people, and other communities of color. This global uprising is a descendant of Black and multinational anti-colonial, decolonization and internationalist movements of the 20th century, especially those of the 1960s.
Some reporters and activists draw connections between the current protests and Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement. Journalists John Eligon and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura view these protests as an expression of a “leaderless movement,” relying upon decentralized organization and spontaneity. And, similar to Arab Spring, Occupy and the 2014 Black Lives Matter protests, participants are using social media platforms to mobilize large groups of people, to challenge prevailing beliefs about social change and to push the movement’s own narratives. Lebanese activist Sarah Aoun, meanwhile, points to how protesters in Arab nations and in the U.S. are responding to the similar conditions of “systemic inequalities.”
Demonstrators gathering in nations like Syria, Palestine, Canada and Kenya signal a surge of anti-racist internationalism guided by desires to communicate across national borders and amplifying victims’ names and Black Lives Matter slogans.