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EU declares ‘Black Lives Matter’, condemns racism, George Floyd’s killing

EU capitals are urged to denounce “the disproportionate use of force and racist tendencies in law enforcement.”

SNS | New Delhi |

The European Parliament on Friday voted to declare that “Black Lives Matter” and to denounce racism and white supremacism in all its forms.

The resolution has no legal consequences but sends a signal of support to anti-racism protesters, and it follows a UN call for a probe into police brutality and “systemic racism.”

A day before President Donald Trump is to hold a rally in Tulsa, a city that saw one of the worst racist massacres in US history, the lawmakers condemned American police brutality.

The resolution, passed by 493 votes to 104, “strongly condemns the appalling death of George Floyd”, an unarmed suspect killed by US police in May.

It rebukes Trump for his “inflammatory rhetoric” and for threatening to deploy the army against protesters.

EU capitals are urged to denounce “the disproportionate use of force and racist tendencies in law enforcement.”

Earlier in the month, thousands of people gathered in central London’s Hyde Park to show their solidarity against the death George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man suffocated to death by a white police officer in the US state of Minnesota on May 25.

The EU institutions and the member states should officially acknowledge past injustices and crimes against humanity committed against black people, people of colour and Roma.

Floyd’s death has sparked two weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations across the country against racism in US law enforcement. Some marchers have called for the police to be defunded.

Last year, a black former Minneapolis police officer was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison for the fatal shooting of an unarmed white Australian woman trying to report a crime.

Earlier on Friday, the UN Human Rights Council demanded a report on “systemic racism”, but left out any direct mention of the United States in the resolution.

Officials around the world have been trying to balance understanding at people’s pent-up anger with warnings about the dangers of a disease that has officially claimed nearly 400,000 lives globally.

The protests have even resonated in war-scarred countries such as Iraq, where the “American Revolts” and the Arabic phrase for “We want to breathe, too” hashtags are spreading on social media.