John Boyega is going the extra mile to make sure his voice is heard regarding police violence against Black people across the globe.
The Attack the Block and Star Wars actor joined a Black Lives Matter protest in London on Wednesday (June 3) and gave a powerful speech.
“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,” he said to a large group of demonstrators.
“Every Black person here remembers the time when another person reminded you that you were Black,” he said while forcing back tears. “I need you to understand how painful this shit 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.”
The 28-year-old said that the thousands who amassed at Hyde Park protest weren’t simply the “physical representation of our support” for George Floyd, but also for Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Mark Duggan (who was killed by U.K. police in 2011) and Stephen Lawrence, a Black British teen who was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993.
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Boyega also urged protesters to remain as “peaceful as possible,” claiming police “want us to mess up, but not today.”
“I’m speaking to you from the heart,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f**k that.”
George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin on May 25. On May 29, Chauvin was charged with third degree murder.
On Wednesday (June 3), Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded the charges against Chauvin to second degree murder. Ellison also charged the three other officers involved, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane with aiding and abetting murder. The three officers were fired and have remained under investigation since the day after Floyd died.
BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death by police and the subsequent aftermath. For our continuing coverage of the protests nationwide, click here.
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