Watch as Edinburgh protesters 'take a knee' for George Floyd in city centre

Masked demonstrators knelt two metres apart from each other chanting anti-racist slogans outside St Giles cathedral.
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Activists gathered at a social distance in Edinburgh’s city centre to “take a knee” for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by US police.

Protests have been taking a grip on countries worldwide, with some turning violent, in response to the 46-year-old’s death.

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He died in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on him for a period of up to about eight minutes despite Floyd struggling for breath and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”

Protesters 'take a knee' for George Floyd outside St Giles CathedralProtesters 'take a knee' for George Floyd outside St Giles Cathedral
Protesters 'take a knee' for George Floyd outside St Giles Cathedral

Black Lives Matter campaigners and others standing up to racism joined in the international tribute to Floyd by protesting peacefully outside St Giles Cathedral last night (June 3).

About 100 masked activists knelt down on one knee for Floyd – an international gesture used in memory of him – and held signs up saying “black lives matter” and “no to racism” while chanting anti-racist slogans.

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A campaigner participating, with a Stand Up to Racism Scotland banner behind him, delivered a speech and thanked all those showing their support in the worldwide effort to fight racism which has come into the spotlight since Floyd’s death.

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The demonstration comes as the city prepares for a planned Black Lives Matter protest this Sunday (June 7) where hundreds are expected to attend.

Originally planned to take place in Princes Street Gardens, organisers have now asked those interested in participating to join them in Holyrood Park at 1pm instead.

In a post on social media, organisers told followers: “We have updated our meeting spot to Holyrood Park.

“We have made this decision as we believe the park will give us more space as it looks like there will be an incredible turn out!

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“Due to the current pandemic we want to outline the health and safety measures we are putting in place to try and make sure everyone is being as safe as possible.

“If you are attending the rally. You MUST wear a mask and gloves.

“There will be some stewards around that if you have not been able to get your hands on some PPE, we can provide some however we must stress that we will not be able to provide some for everyone.”

Following the death of Floyd, four police officers were sacked.

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One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second degree murder.

The other three officers involved were Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao and all are facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, the BBC reports.