It’s the first anniversary of the beginning of the largest protesting in the history of the world. The major catalyst of the unrest was the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. George Floyd’s live on camera death sparked the largest protesting in the history of the world. Though it wasn’t the first controversial killing of a black person in America or anywhere else. But in 2020, it sparked a much wider series of global protests and riots which continued into 2021 in smaller segments. As of June 8, 2020 there were at least 19 deaths related to the protests.
Martin Luther King Jr famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
President Obama used it often – but it could do with a second part. Bear this in mind, that the arc of the moral universe does not bend on its own. It’s bent in the right direction of justice by those willing to push it. The protesters, campaigners and dissenters. It was their hands that forced the arch towards justice when the former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the second-degree murder of George Floyd. We cannot celebrate and take comfort in the verdict that was meted out without acknowledging the action outside the courtroom that secured it. Everyone knows it was the protestors demanding justice as how a guilty verdict was handed down.
But this is what some will do: claim the verdict to be a great victory, after denigrating and disparaging the means by which it was achieved. The protests in the wake of Floyd’s murder have been called the largest in US and global history. The protesting reached more than 50 countries. In the US, tens of millions of dollars were raised and invested in grassroots communities and advocacy in a diffuse, decentralized network that lobbied politicians and pushed through voter registration. It all made a deep impression on the public consciousness. Had not been for these protestors, Chauvin simply would not have been brought to trial on these charges, let alone been convicted, were it not for these protestors tireless efforts.