Written by Melanie Coffee
Photos by Andre Percey Katombe, Lila Zotou, Melanie Coffee, Ka Man Mak, and Anette Alvik.
The plan called for a human chain of 750 people, standing 1 meter apart, to respect coronavirus infection control rules. Also, a small gathering of 50 people was to be outside the US Embassy.
Instead, as many as 15,000 converged in front of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) and several hundred were outside the US Embassy. The demonstration was organized by the Oslo African rights organization ARISE and Oslo University’s African Student Association.
The thousands came out to participate in the “We Can’t Breathe – Justice for George Floyd” event. Chants of “I can’t breathe”, “Say his name: George Floyd” and “No justice, no peace” filled Eidsvold Plass as demonstrators held signs that carried those messages and more.
The organizers were concerned about the massive crowd considering the coronavirus situation, and they handed out free face masks with dollops of hand sanitizer.
Hundreds of protests against racism have taken place around the world, galvanized by the videotaped death of George Floyd, an African American who was killed in Minneapolis when a white police officer held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
In Oslo, on Friday the crowd’s thunderous chanting was quelled during an 8-minute-and-46 second span, where numerous kneeled and one of the organizers recited Floyd’s final words.
Photos below are by Melanie Coffee / The Oslo Desk
Photos below are by Ka Man Mak / The Oslo Desk
Photos below are by Anette Alvik / The Oslo Desk