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John Boyega Speaks Out At London Black Lives Matter Protest

Grazia logo Grazia 03/06/2020 Ben

John Boyega Gets Emotional During Impassioned Speech About Black Lives Matter Movement
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(Video by ETonline)

Actor and activist John Boyega was among those who attended a Black Lives Matter protest which gathered in London today in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Boyega, who grew up in South London and has had major roles in films including the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Attack The Block, has previously been outspoken about his anti-racist views on his social media accounts.

At the protest he spoke loudly and passionately to his fellow protesters, rallying the crowd, calling for peaceful action, and naming a series of British and American Black people who have died in racist attacks or been killed by police.

John Boyega standing in front of a crowd © Dan Kitwood/Getty

“I need you guys to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing. And that isn’t the case anymore,” Boyega said. “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland.

We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence. For Mark Duggan. It is very, very important that we keep control in this moment, and make this as peaceful as possible.” He also acknowledged that he felt his vocal support might negatively affect his future film appearances.

Protestors including British actor John Boyega (C) raise their fists in Parliament square during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. - Londoners defied coronavirus restrictions and rallied on Wednesday in solidarity with protests raging across the United States over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died during an arrest on May 25. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images) © Getty Protestors including British actor John Boyega (C) raise their fists in Parliament square during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. - Londoners defied coronavirus restrictions and rallied on Wednesday in solidarity with protests raging across the United States over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died during an arrest on May 25. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images) “I’m speaking to you from my heart,” he said. “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.” Watch more of his speech below.

Boyega was most recently seen on screen in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker, reprising the role of Finn for a third time and rounding out his character arc in the Star Wars universe.

He’ll next be seen as the lead in Chase Palmer’s upcoming Naked Singularity playing a successful public defender in the wake of losing his first case. The adaptation of Sergio De La Pava’s novel is currently in post-production having filmed prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. He’s also attached to star in Jeremy Saulnier’s upcoming Rebel Ridge, which is now in pre-production.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Actor John Boyega speaks to the crowd during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park  on June 03, 2020 in London, England.  The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Actor John Boyega speaks to the crowd during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park on June 03, 2020 in London, England. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) Empire stands in solidarity with Black people and people of colour against racist violence and systematic oppression, and we support the widespread protests currently taking place.

Read here for our resource which includes links to petitions to sign, places to donate where possible, more information about Black Lives Matter, and recommended films by Black filmmakers that feel particularly pertinent to watch now and in future.

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