Ultimate act of respect as UK residents ‘take the knee’ on doorsteps to honour George Floyd

Although under tragic circumstances, the unity of people across the world in support of George Floyd has been a force to be reckoned with.

And this week, it was us Brits who stepped up to the honour.

On Wednesday, members of the UK public were invited to ‘take the knee’ as a mark of respect to the man who lost his life on May 25 while under arrest in Minneapolis.

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Hundreds of people flocked to their doorsteps kneeling down at 6pm in solidarity.

From the young to the elderly, from citizens to civil servants, the photos that flooded social media with the #taketheknee hashtag were nothing short of beautiful.

Meanwhile, a mass gathering over in the US saw Washington DC residents kneel together and sing Bill Withers track Lean On Me in heart-warming scenes.

Footage of Floyd went viral after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ultimately leading to his death.

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It sparked a global debate around white power and police brutality – with people demanding change and equality while pledging to educate themselves on race issues.

The doorstep campaign was created by Stand Up To Racism, after they took inspiration from American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick infamously took to his knee during games in 2016 to make a stand against racial injustice. At the time, his actions were deemed incredibly controversial as he knelt during the national anthem which critics claimed disrespected the American flag.

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Stand Up To Racism activist Sabby Dhalu, said: “We’re delighted tens of thousands of people joined our #TakeTheKnee initiative. But we cannot stop here.

“Across the globe the anti-racist majority is making its voice heard in solidarity with George Floyd and protestors in the US.

“Many are also outraged at the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths suffered by BAME communities.”

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Sabby continued: “It’s a scandal that the government removed from the Public Health England record, the COVID-19 report about the section on institutional racism.

“We’re building a movement that demands justice and demands change, from the police to the NHS. We’re calling for a root and branch public inquiry that examines all factors, including institutional racism, that led to BAME communities dying disproportionately.”

Chauvin, who is now in police custody, was initially charged with third-degree murder (murder without intent to kill) although it has now changed to second-degree murder – which is the intentional murder of a human being but that lacks premeditation.

Three other officers also present at the scene – Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – have also now been charged.

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