John Boyega delivers emotional speech during Black Lives Matter protest in London
3 June 2020, 16:28 | Updated: 4 June 2020, 12:29
The Star Wars actor spoke passionately to his fellow demonstrators during a peaceful protest in Hyde Park following the death of George Floyd.
John Boyega was among the many demonstrators protesting in London's Hyde Park today (June 3) following the tragic death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed in police custody last week.
The 28-year-old Star Wars actor has been incredibly vocal about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement and defended himself last week after people criticised his comments on racial injustice.
Today, Boyega delivered a powerful speech to his fellow protesters, who were gathered in response to the deaths of Floyd, 46, and railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died of coronavirus in April after she and her colleague were spat on by a man at London's Victoria station.
During his speech, Boyega mentioned Floyd as well as two other victims of police brutality in the US, Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin. He also mentioned Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack in the UK.
"We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence," he said.
"I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f**k that."
He continued, "Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones."
"Every black person in here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black. So none of you out there, all those protesters on the other side, protesting against what we want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve, burn you, this is so vital."
"I need you to understand how painful this sh*t is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case anymore, that was never the case anymore."
Boyega asserted the importance of keeping the protest as "peaceful and as organised as possible", "because they want us to mess up, they want us to be disorganised but not today."
The actor broke down in tears and was encouraged to carry on by his fellow protesters, before adding a final message aimed towards black men in particular. "Black men we need to take care of our black women. They are our hearts, they are our future, we cannot demonise our own, we are the pillars of the family."
"Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, have a better rate of becoming better human beings and that’s what we need to create.
"Black men, it starts with you, it’s done man, we can’t be trash no more. We have to be better."
On May 25, Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes. Former officer Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third-degree murder.