George Floyd death: Hundreds gather for Black Lives Matter protest in London's Hyde Park

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Hundreds of people gathered in London's Hyde Park to join a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd in the United States.

George Floyd died last month while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.

The 46-year-old was filmed gasping and heard saying "I can’t breathe" as a police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. His death sparked protests around the world.

People taking part in Wednesday's Hyde Park rally chanted "black lives matter" and "we will not be silent".

Among them was Star Wars actor John Boyega who made an emotional speech to the crowd saying "black lives have always mattered".

Boyega referenced two other black Americans who controversially died in the US, as well as the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993.

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. I’m speaking to you from my heart. Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.” >

John Boyega, actor

The central London rally comes after protests outside the US Embassy in south London as well as in Trafalgar Square.

Organisers of today's event said it was important to protest in the capital "to show solidarity".

Jaynielia, an 18-year-old student, said that the Black Lives Matter protest was important because “black innocent people are being killed by white police and it needs to stop”.

People’s families are getting destroyed by black men being shot every day for no reason, they’re walking the street, they’re jogging, they’re going to the shops- why are they getting shot? In this country, police want to come and arrest any black person just because they want to. The feds need to listen, white people need to listen, they ain’t hearing us. It’s like we have to fight back for them to hear us and it needs to stop from today. I’m here to protest for my people, because I don’t think anyone is doing enough, still people are dying and I’m here to show people that I’m hurt. When I see people dying, when I see family members die it hurts – I’m black, I could die, it needs to stop.

Jaynielia, student

Around 3pm several hundred protesters left Hyde Park, with many climbing over fences to get onto a main road.

The demonstrators were blocking the Park Lane road by the park, stopping traffic including at least 10 double-decker buses.

Many protesters climbed onto sculptures and phone boxes, while others climbed on top of a cafe in Speakers’ Corner.

At Prime Minister's Questions Boris Johnson said he could understand the anger and the grief felt following the death of George Floyd.

Of course black lives matter and I totally understand the anger, the grief that is felt, not just in America but around the world and in our country as well. I totally understand that and I get that and I also support, as I’ve said, the right to protest. The only point I would make to the House is that protests should be carried out lawfully and in this country, protests should be carried out in accordance with our rules on social distancing.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister