Demand Justice for George Floyd

George Floyd was an unarmed Black man. Earlier, a grocery clerk had called the police thinking George had tried to use a forged currency in the store, but that phone call proved to be fatal when the police arrived. If the police hadn’t used force unlawfully, George would still be alive today.

The police officers involved in George's killing immediately lost their jobs and have now been arrested.

Now George's family – and large sections of American and international society –  are demanding that everyone involved must be held accountable. 

The event has created major demonstrations across the US. In several places the protesters are faced with excessive violence from the police.

Unfortunately, George's death is not unique. It comes in the wake of a series of acts of racist violence against Black Americans that illustrate astounding discrimination in the US. This includes the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was out jogging; the killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was sleeping in her apartment when the police opened fire, and so many more.

The police commit human rights violations at a shockingly frequent rate, particularly against racial and ethnic minorities, and especially Black Americans. In 2019 alone, the police were involved in the deaths of over 1,000 people in the US. These aren’t just numbers, they are people: parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, partners, children.

US authorities must ensure that this does not happen again.

What happens to your signature?

The signatures are sent to US Attorney General William Barr. Each signature shows that we are many in solidarity with George Floyd and his family.

There are many ways you can support the fight for racial justice and help, even if you're outside the US or you can't protest. 

● Donate to bail funds – people are being detained for expressing their rights in the streets

● Donate to local Black-led social justice organisations. There are many, here are just a few:

● Tweet at the Department of Justice, @TheJusticeDept – Here's a sample Tweet: I demand accountability for the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmanud Arbery. Investigations must be swift and transparent.

● Follow Amnesty International on social media for actions you can take to bring accountability for George's killing and demand that there is more than just lip service for the unlawful taking of black lives by police

● Reshare and amplify the voices of black activists on your social media. Here are some suggestions: • Black Lives MatterRachel CargleThe Conscious KidIbram X. KendiThe Antiracist Research & Policy CenterShowing Up For Racial JusticeThe Great UnlearnNAACPCheck Your PrivilegeLayla F. SaadNo White SavioursAudre Lorde ProjectDanielle CokeAja BarberMunroe Bergdorf Ciguapa Decolonial

● Educate yourself on issues of racial justice and white supremacy

● If you're looking to learn more about Black history, this public google drive is a goldmine of resources! It was put together by @whythedarkness

● Try to write articles or blogs to educate your community, but be sure to lift up voices of impacted people and recognise your privilege

● Talk to your kids about racial injustice

Because none of us are free until all of us are free. Amnesty International's kaupapa (purpose) is to stand with humanity. That means to help build societies based on respect, justice, kindness and aroha.

Around the world, Amnesty International stands up to racial injustice and advocates for systemic change to address the causes of descrimination.  

For over a decade here in New Zealand, Amnesty International has worked on issues around indigenous and minority rights through advocacy and at the United Nations level, including through the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) process, where we raise human rights concerns to the UN. This means the UN is alerted to human rights issues in New Zealand and the New Zealand Government is compelled to periodically report back in Geneva on what it is doing to address these concerns. In recent years, Amnesty International has raised concerns about the treatment of prisoners in Corrections facilities and the overrepresentation of Māori in the criminal justice system.

Now we are working to participate more at a grassroots level in Aotearoa New Zealand, advocating and campaigning on the racial aspects of New Zealand's Corrections systems, the overuse of physical restraints, the practice of holding children in adult Police cells, solitary confinement and more.