Around the world, people have watched in shock and awe at the protests for George Floyd, a black man who was brutally killed while in handcuffs by (now former) Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd and onlookers cried out. Standing nearby or assisting in holding Floyd down were Chauvin’s fellow former police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao all of whom are now facing murder charges of various degrees.
While the protests were initially limited to the U.S., many in countries across Europe have joined the cause for Black Lives Matter. Protests have now taken place in over 25 countries and on all continents except Antarctica.
This week, organizers from For Human Decency in the Czech Republic were preparing for what was meant to be a peaceful protest in Prague and protesters had been invited via a Facebook group to meet up in Old Town Square at 4pm at a “Justice For George Floyd” rally. Some 1.4 thousand people listed themselves on the group’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/673299710188280/) as attending with an additional 2.6 thousand people “interested,” but the event was suddenly cancelled.
The group’s organizer, Edu Ard, posted the following statement on Facebook regarding the cancellation: “Given the ongoing pandemic and the growing solidarity, it would be impossible to adhere to legal guidelines. Everyone is able to drop off flowers, candles, signs, posters, and banners, at the American embassy in Prague throughout the day. This way it is not necessary to congregate; it is lawful; and, social distance is maintained.
You can contact the American embassy via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter:@usembassyprague. The Ambassador’s Twitter handle: @usambprague.”
At the end of the post, he shared a link including information about where to donate for those interested. You can find the link here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thecut.com/amp/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html
So it seems that the event was canceled due to the size of the crowd response which, given the current government regulations regarding crowd sizes made it simply impossible.
Given the situation having degraded so badly in the U.S., with riots, looting, as well as some abhorrent behavior by police and even the President of the United States himself, Czech officials and the Mayor of Prague are probably a bit relieved.
it isn’t yet clear if a new protest event will be organized or, if one were, how it might be allowed to go forward.
Did you sign up for the event? Do you think it should have gone forward if organizers could arrange or manage to follow social-distancing protocols? Let us know in the comments.