John Boyega gave an off-the-cuff speech at a peaceful demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and received an enormously positive reaction from the crowd. The Star Wars star told the protestors gathered at Hyde Park in London that the “very vital” demonstration is “the physical representation of our support for George Floyd.”
During his speech, given on June 3, Boyega spoke through a bullhorn and said that “every Black person understands and realizes the first time you were reminded you were black.” After pausing and tearing up for a moment, he went on. “I need you guys to understand how painful this sh-t is. To be reminded every day that your race means nothing. And that isn’t the case anymore. That is never the case anymore.”
The audience listening to Boyega’s speech came out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, an international human rights movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. This latest international protest comes in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed on May 25 of this year when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” @johnboyega just told #BlackLivesMatter protesters in London’s Hyde Park pic.twitter.com/P49cbwIp6P— Haley Ott (@haleyjoelleott) June 3, 2020
“The death of George Floyd has made me realise its [sic] not enough to be passively non-racist,” Boyega wrote in an Instagram post dedicated to Floyd. “The only way is to be actively anti-racist or I’m making no difference.”
“It is very very important that we keep control of this movement, and that we make this as peaceful… and as organized as possible,” the 28-year-old actor told the crowd. “Because you know what, guys? They want us to mess up. They want us to be disorganized. But not today. Not today.”
Feature image: Evening Standard