Marches, rallies held in George Floyd’s memory across U.S. ahead of anniversary of his killing


Members of George Floyd’s family, along with others who lost loved ones to police encounters, joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis on Sunday for a march that was one of several events planned nationwide to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s killing.

The George Floyd Memorial Foundation — a non-profit based in Fayetteville, N.C., where Floyd was born — is hosting a series of events in Minneapolis this weekend and early next week to honour Floyd on May 25. Those events include the rally and a march downtown on Sunday that will be led by Floyd’s family and other families of victims of police violence.

The non-profit was launched by Floyd’s siblings in September 2020, to help combat racial inequities in Black and brown communities in their brother’s honour.

Other events in Minneapolis ahead of the anniversary include a virtual “day of action” that encourages people to organize remotely and two panels with the families and other activists on Monday, followed by a community festival and candlelight vigil on Tuesday.

Floyd’s brother Terrence, centre, raises his fist with others during a rally in New York City on Sunday. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press)

Tuesday will mark one year since Floyd, who was Black, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleaded for air. Chauvin, who is white, has since been convicted of murder and manslaughter for Floyd’s death, which sparked worldwide protests and calls for change in policing in the United States.

In New York on Sunday, Floyd’s brother, Terrence, attended a Brooklyn gathering in his brother’s memory organized by Rev. Al Sharpton and told supporters not to forget his brother or victims of racist violence.

“If you keep my brother’s name ringing, you’re going to keep everybody else’s name ringing,” Terrence Floyd said. “Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery, you could go through the whole list. There’s a lot of them.”

Executive director Jacari Harris said the group has received donations from the Minneapolis Foundation, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and athletic shoe and apparel retailer Finish Line, among others. Despite large grants from corporations and other organizations, Harris said the average donation to the foundation was $47 US.

Harris said the group has also funded an initiative in Fayetteville to help reduce homelessness, a scholarship program for law school students and an internship program at Texas A&M University, where Floyd went to school.

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