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Pope condemns death of George Floyd – ‘We can no longer turn a blind eye to racism’

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Speaking today, the Pope addressed the protests in the US which have now spread worldwide following the death of Mr Floyd. Mr Floyd’s death last week sparked eight nights of protests across the country. During his weekly prayer on Wednesday, the Pope insisted the world could no longer turn a “blind eye” to racism.

Francis said: “Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr George Floyd.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.

“At the same time, we have to recognise that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating.

“Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”

In the US, the National Guard has been called to several regions in order to confront some of the protesters.

Curfews have also been instituted in certain cities as the protests continue.

Donald Trump has also threatened to deploy the army if cities and states failed to control the protests.

The President has also come under severe criticism for how certain law enforcement organisations have reacted to protestors across the US.

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He has also stated this week that he will continue to “uphold the laws” of the nation.

He said in a speech: “My fellow Americans – My first and highest duty as President is to defend our great Country and the American People.

“I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our Nation and that is exactly what I will do.”

In the UK, protesters have also gathered in Hyde Park in London today. 


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Despite the UK still being lockdown, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has stated his understanding over the motive behind the mass gatherings.

Questioned in Parliament, Mr Johnson said: “Of course black lives matter and I totally understand the anger, the grief that is felt, not just in America but around the world and in our country as well.

“The only point I would make to the House is that protests should be carried out lawfully and in this country, protests should be carried out in accordance with our rules on social distancing.”

Thousands also took part in the protests in London on Sunday. 

The second demonstration took place at 1pm today as part of a day of action against racial discrimination.

In support of the protests, a joint statement from the UK’s chief constables said today: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life.

“Justice and accountability should follow.

“We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then.

“Our hearts go out to all those affected by these terrible events and hope that peace and order will soon be restored.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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