What began as a hashtag seven years ago has transformed into a global movement for justice for black people. Sally Sara reports on #BlackLivesMatter, the force galvanising the rage and grief triggered by George Floyd’s death.
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Music Credit correction:
Dua Saleh – Body Cast Inst. (AGAINST GIANTS)
“We are in a state of emergency. Black people are dying in a state of emergency”
Tamika Mallory, activist
Pictures of a white Minneapolis police officer killing unarmed black man George Floyd provoked an immediate and furious response.
Angry protests demanding an end to entrenched racism erupted in scores of cities across America.
Floyd’s last words ‘I can’t breathe’ have become a rallying cry.
White and black, young and old, across 50 states, have protested peacefully against police violence and racism.
There’s been looting and destruction too.
On display for the world to watch has been the violent police response the protestors are fighting against.
Galvanising this mass outpouring of rage and grief is the Black Lives Matter movement, formed seven years ago after the killer of an unarmed, black teenager was acquitted.
We speak with Tamika Mallory, the activist who delivered what’s being called ‘the speech of a generation’ days after Floyd’s death.
“We cannot look at this as an isolated incident. The reason buildings are burning are not just for our brother George Floyd,” she told the Minneapolis crowd.
“They’re burning down because people here in Minnesota are saying to people in New York, to people in California, to people in Memphis, to people across this nation, enough is enough.”
We interview Art Acevedo, the Houston Police Chief who told President Trump to ‘shut his mouth… Because you’re putting men and women in their early 20s at risk.’
Acevedo tells Foreign Correspondent he understands the anger. “It’s about how he died. And he died at the hands of a police officer in circumstances where it should’ve never happened.”
And she catches up with Baltimore photographer Devin Allen five years after the death in custody there of a young black man triggered violent riots.
“You got to release that rage. It has to happen”, say Devin. But that’s just the first step.
“What’s important is when the smoke clears, that’s when the real work actually begins.”
About Foreign Correspondent:
Foreign Correspondent is the prime-time international public affairs program on Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC-TV. We produce half-hour duration in-depth reports for broadcast across the ABC’s television channels and digital platforms. Since 1992, our teams have journeyed to more than 170 countries to report on war, natural calamity and social and political upheaval – through the eyes of the people at the heart of it all.