Protests against police brutality and systematic racism have been occurring in all 50 states within the past week as a result of the unfathomable murder of George Floyd. Beyond that, protests have also begun all across the globe to fight for America, and also the racism problems within each country.
Specifically, the people of France began taking to the streets shortly after the protests in America began. More than 20,000 french individuals met up in the French capital this past Tuesday, despite a nationwide ban on large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. They chanted “no justice, no peace” in french in front of the courthouse in Paris, and while the protest was partially inspired by what’s occurring here in America, the people of France were specifically chanting Justice for Adama Traoré.
In 2016, Traoré, a French black man, died in police custody in a small suburb outside of Paris. There is no video evidence of what occurred to Traoré while in custody, however, the people of France believe that he was murdered due to asphyxiation caused by the police, just like Floyd. Like countless cases of police brutality against black people in America, no arrests were ever made in Traoré’s case, and France has used the globe’s motivation for change for their own country, and are now demanding justice.
“Tonight this fight is no longer just the fight of the Traoré family, it’s everyone’s struggle. We are fighting for our brother, in the U.S. George Floyd, and for Adama,” yelled Assa Traoré, Adama’s older sister.
Assa Traoré founded the organization “Justice and Truth for Adama” after her brother’s death, and their main goal is proving that Traoré was in fact murdered by the police. All investigations within the past four years relating to Traoré have all been inconclusive. This week was the first time since his death that mainstream media began reporting on it again, and now the country, along with the rest of the world, has all eyes on their citizens fighting for justice and peace.
“We are seeing a coalescing of what’s happening here and what’s happening in America. The George Floyd case is finding a very strong echo in France. There is no justice in France, either, and France is very hypocritical about racism. They always denounce what happens in the U.S. — like, ‘oh look, they are killing black people, this is not good.’ But we have our own case [Traoré] and they can’t deal with it. We want them to deal with it,” Nineteen-year-old Jennifer Curier said to the French media at the protest.
French media outlets are constantly covering protests in France and in the US simultaneously and comparing the two. While the specific cases of police brutality and racism are much different for both countries, the existence of that racism within both political systems unites us in more ways than we even know.
The protests have also been occurring in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, etc., and while a majority of them began in solidarity with America and George Floyd, the citizens within each of these countries are also fighting their own governments and police systems.
The world hasn’t been this publicly united in quite some time, but what does that exactly say about the people in power, the media, and our own personal prejudices against these countries? As we’ve clearly seen, we’re all fighting the same fight more or less because we’ve all been enduring similar injustices for centuries, so why haven’t we united before?
Regardless, it’s happening now, and it’s quite astounding to see, If you want to know more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can directly help from home, click here for access to dozens of petitions, donation pages, and fundraising efforts specifically for those fighting for racial equality right now.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.