Protests Reach Europe

Nations around the world monitor US chaos closely
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 31, 2020 11:05 AM CDT
Protests Reach Europe
A protester holds up a banner as demonstrators gather in Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Nations around the world have watched the civil unrest in the US that has followed the death of George Floyd. But they have not been surprised. Racism-tinged events no longer startle even America’s closest allies, the AP reports, though many have watched coverage of the protests with growing unease. Burning cars and riot police in the US featured on newspaper front pages around the globe Sunday—bumping news of the pandemic in some places. Thousands gathered in central London on Sunday. Chanting "No justice! No peace!" and waving placards with the words "How many more?" at Trafalgar Square, the protesters ignored government rules banning crowds because of the pandemic. Police didn't stop them. Demonstrators then marched to the US Embassy, where a long line of officers surrounded the building. Several hundred sat in the street and waved placards. The US Embassy in Berlin was the scene of protests Saturday evening under the motto: "Justice for George Floyd."

Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper on Sunday carried the headline, "This killer-cop set America ablaze," with an arrow pointing to a photo of Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in Floyd's death, with his knee on Floyd’s neck. The newspaper reported "scenes like out of a civil war." In Italy, the Corriere della's US correspondent wrote that the reaction this time is "different" from previous cases of black Americans killed by police. "There are exasperated black movements that no longer preach nonviolent resistance," Massimo Gaggi wrote. In countries with authoritarian governments, state-controlled media have highlighted the violence. In China, the protests are viewed through the prism of US attacks on China's crackdown on Hong Kong protests. Russia expressed a lack of shock. "This incident is far from the first in a series of lawless conduct and unjustified violence from US law enforcement,’’ the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "American police commit such high-profile crimes all too often."

(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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