'No justice, no peace': Anti-racism, George Floyd protests stretch to distant New Zealand

accreditation
  • About 2 000 people marched to the US Consulate in Auckland
  • Another 500 gathered in Christchurch and outside Parliament in Wellington in defiance of social distancing rules
  • Nigerian-New Zealand musician, Mazbou Q, helped organise the protest


Wellington – Protests sweeping the United States over the death of George Floyd reverberated on the other side of the globe on Monday when thousands marched in solidarity on the streets of New Zealand.

The rallies were peaceful in contrast to the days of sometimes violent protests in the US after Floyd, an African-American, died while handcuffed and as a white police officer, who has since been charged with third-degree murder, knelt on his neck.

In Auckland, about 2 000 people marched to the US Consulate chanting "no justice, no peace" and "black lives matter".

Another 500 gathered in Christchurch, with a similar number standing in the rain at an evening vigil at Parliament in Wellington where they were presented with hundreds of names said to be Americans who have died due to racial injustice.

Nigerian-New Zealand musician, Mazbou Q, who organised the protest, said the gatherings were not just about the death of Floyd.

Strict coronavirus regulations defied

"The…persecution of the black community is an ongoing phenomenon. The same white supremacy which has led to disproportionate killings of black people in the US exists here in New Zealand," he told the crowd in Auckland.

"We pride ourselves on being a nation of empathy, kindness and love. But the silence from the government and the media does not reflect that at all. In fact, it makes us complicit."

In Christchurch, where 51 people were killed by a self-proclaimed white supremacist last year, one speaker, Josephine Varghese, told the crowd: "We demand racial and economic justice. Black lives matter, indigenous lives matter, Muslim lives matter."

Police maintained a low-key presence as the protesters defied strict coronavirus regulations demanding gatherings be restricted to a maximum 100 people, who must maintain social distancing.

New Zealand is on the verge of eliminating the coronavirus with no new cases for 10 days. Of 1 154 confirmed cases, only one remains active.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory for employees in workplaces?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it is the responsible thing to do
46% - 1495 votes
No, vaccination should be an individual choice
43% - 1422 votes
No, but those who are unvaccinated should have to work from home
11% - 354 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.74
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.53
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.47
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.88
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,815.15
+0.4%
Silver
25.20
+0.9%
Palladium
2,637.59
+0.4%
Platinum
1,077.89
+0.6%
Brent Crude
74.74
+0.4%
Top 40
62,369
0.0%
All Share
68,526
0.0%
Resource 10
70,272
0.0%
Industrial 25
87,347
0.0%
Financial 15
12,825
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE