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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

The Anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd (debate)

  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, this month we have seen thousands of people taking to the streets demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd. A police officer pressed his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck for a breath-taking eight minutes as he lay pinned on the ground in handcuffs, and Mr Floyd’s killing is not an exception. He’s one out of many unarmed black men who has died at the hands of law-enforcement officers.

People are rightfully demanding justice for Mr Floyd but also for all the other innocent lives that have been taken before. The call for justice against institutional racism is not new, but the movement is stronger and broader than ever. Young, old, black, white: everyone is demanding systemic change.

The call for racial justice quickly moved to Europe too. This highlights that racism is not exclusively an American problem. Also in Europe, racial discrimination against people of colour runs deep in our institutions and societies. Black lives matter, and that means we have work to do as well.

And lastly, our healing cannot succeed without acknowledgment. We need to recognise the injustices of our dark colonial past and how it still influences much of today’s society, and especially the lives of black and brown people. The protests fill me with hope and together we have the momentum to change.

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