From Australia to Europe, protesters identified with the cause of the protests in the United States and called on their own governments to tackle racism and police violence.
An Australian Aboriginal lawmaker urged governments to use the death of George Floyd as an opportunity to reduce the deaths of indigenous people in police custody.
African-American Floyd died last week after a white officer pinned him on the road, putting his knee around his neck while he said he couldn’t breathe. This incident in Minneapolis sparked protests across the country.
Linda Burney, the opposition spokeswoman on indigenous issues, said Tuesday that since 1991 more than 430 Aborigines have died after being detained by Australian police.
“I think we should use this as an opportunity,” Burney told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in reference to Floyd’s death. “Whether we like it or not, it doesn’t take much for racism to come out of the bowels of this country.”
Although adult Aborigines are only 2% of the Australian population, they are 27% of the prison population.
In Europe, protesters displayed similar messages. Thousands took to the streets in Amsterdam to denounce police brutality, and those who mobilized in Paris urged the French government to take police violence more seriously and displayed posters with phrases like “Racism suffocates us.”
Some leaders have seen the unrest in the United States as an occasion to focus on what they see as American hypocrisy towards protest movements at home and abroad.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam questioned foreign criticism of the impending national security law to be imposed on the territory.
“They take the national security of their own country very seriously, but the security of our country, especially the situation in Hong Kong, they are seeing through tinted glass,” he said.