John Boyega gives powerful and moving speech at Black Lives Matter march in Hyde Park
If you are looking around social media for celebrities or brands to stand up and be counted when it really matters, as it does right now, chances are you will be left waiting a long time for many to speak out. In most cases you should expect little more than platitudes and template responses in the hope it sends the ‘right’ message to their followers and protects whatever credibility it is they think they have.
Thankfully, John Boyega isn’t willing to play the same game. As we saw last week in his passionate response to white racists on Instagram, he rightfully refuses to remain quiet in the face of such ongoing injustice towards Black people from the police, and from a system purposely designed to prevent non-white communities from succeeding.
As protests continue across America, we are also seeing more action being taking in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia and more. The same can be said for the UK, with a new demonstration taking place right now in Hyde Park, London, ahead of two more this weekend, with additional protests taking place right across the UK.
Boyega is present today and gave a deeply emotional and affecting speech to gathering crowds. “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd," he said. "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 added: “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
Boyega went on to say: “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, that was never the case anymore.”
He was also astute enough to add that protestors should "keep this as peaceful as possible," and added "They want us to mess up, they want us to be disorganised but not today."