Protests ‘to change the whole wide world’ following Floyd’s funeral

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Protesters will take to the streets across the United States again on Wednesday one day after the funeral of George Floyd, whose death in police custody has ignited the biggest surge of anti-racism activism since the civil rights era of the 1960s.

Hundreds of protesters in the west coast city of Seattle filled City Hall into early Wednesday calling for the mayor to resign and for police reforms.

More protests were expected from Atlanta to New York City and Los Angeles in what will be the 16th straight day of demonstrations.

In Washington, one of Floyd’s brothers was due to speak to a Democratic-led congressional panel on Wednesday as lawmakers take on the twin issues of police violence and racial injustice.

At the funeral in Houston on Tuesday, veteran civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton told mourners Floyd was now “the cornerstone of a movement that is going to change the whole wide world”.

Sharpton said the Floyd family would lead a march on Washington on Aug. 28 to mark the 57th anniversary of the 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in 1968.

Floyd, 46, died after a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was held face down in a street in Minneapolis on May 25. {nL8N2DM4HR]

His death unleashed a surge of protests across U.S. cities against racism and the systematic mistreatment of black people.

It has also inspired anti-racism protests in several countries in Europe. In Britain, with its own conflicted legacy of empire, statues of historical figures linked to the slave trade have been toppled or taken down.

Though mostly peaceful, the U.S. protests have been marred by arson, looting and clashes with police, whose often heavy-handed tactics have fueled the rage.

The furor has also thrust President Donald Trump into a political crisis as he bids for re-election in November. Trump has threatened tough action to restore order but has struggled to unite the nation while failing to address the issue of racial inequality.

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