Gothenburg’s protest for George Floyd Gothenburg’s protest for George Floyd

Gothenburg’s protest for George Floyd

If you can, please donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund or to one of the many other organisations working to combat racism. The company I work for has an excellent list of organisations as well as resources to help educate. Read more at AKQA.com/Anti-Racism

Despite the Coronavirus, more than four hundred cities around the world have marched in protest of George Floyd death and the lack of accountability for the detaining officers.  Gothenburg's march brought thousands out in peaceful protest. Starting at Heden and travelling in a large circle around the city past Vasa, past Domkyrkan and past the stadium.

White Silence is Violence Placard at BLM GBG
White Silence is Violence Placard at BLM GBG

Before I even reached the protest, I was approached by a police officer who politely, but insistently questioned who I was and where I was going. My camera was of particular interest. Whilst it was a friendly interaction, it was uncomfortable to be questioned for doing nothing at all and gave me the smallest insight into something that is a daily occurrence for others.

Black Lives Matter March in Gothenburg
Black Lives Matter March in Gothenburg
Three protestors at BLM March Gothenburg
Three protestors at BLM March Gothenburg

At the start, there was a tiny moment of panic, as someone let off a loud firecracker, causing the crowd to briefly scatter.

Crowd of marchers at George Floyd March Gothenburg
Crowd of marchers at George Floyd March Gothenburg

That moment aside, the march was calm, travelling through the city, chanting "No Peace. No Justice" and "Black Lives Matter" The public transport was stopped, though this march was not planned, it had been intended to stay at Heden square, but when a few thousand people decide to do something, you see democracy in action.

Black Trans Lives Matter at Gothenburg March
Black Trans Lives Matter at Gothenburg March
Three protestors with signs at BLM March Gothenburg
Three protestors with signs at BLM March Gothenburg

At one moment, opposite Domkrykan, the police started telling the marchers that due to Corona they were stopping the marching. This came to nothing.

No Justice, No Peace.
No Justice, No Peace.

The signs ranged from the clever to the pointed to the verbose, but all were held passionately.

Black Lives Matter Placard
Black Lives Matter Placard
Respect Black Lives like you respect Black Culture Placard
Respect Black Lives like you respect Black Culture Placard

The march had police scattered through it, always friendly. A large proportion of the officers on duty were women or from BAME backgrounds, which no doubt helped keep the two sides more civil than other countries have seen.

Protestors march through Gothenburg for #BlackLivesMatter
Protestors march through Gothenburg for #BlackLivesMatter
Protestors march past Grönsakstorget for #BlackLivesMatter
Protestors march past Grönsakstorget for #BlackLivesMatter
Rainbow Black Lives Matter Placard
Rainbow Black Lives Matter Placard

Marching along the leafy avenue of Vasagatan brought the marchers together in the more confined space and really gave us a sense of belonging.

March along Vasagatan
March along Vasagatan

In Heden, a few protestors camped out on top of a container with an American Flag sign and a lot of foot-stomping. Showing more faith for the integrity of a container than I would have.

Black Lives Matter on the American Flag
Black Lives Matter on the American Flag

Towards the end of the march, when we had returned to Heden, SVT chose a few protestors and arranged them as a backdrop to their reporting.

SVT Journalist interviewing BLM Protestors
SVT Journalist interviewing BLM Protestors