Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Black Lives Matter has inspired protests around the world

The killing of George Floyd didn't just lead to the massive Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. It inspired demonstrations against the ravages of racism and police brutality in other countries, too.

The big picture: The movement raised people's awareness of the problems, but hit roadblocks when it came to structural change.


Protesters at Paris' Place de la République in June 2020. Photo: Samuel Boivin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

France's Black Lives Matter protests were propelled both by the events in the U.S. and by prominent cases at home — such as those of Adama Traoré and Cedric Chouviat — that increased scrutiny of police tactics.

The big picture: The demonstrations put pressure on politicians to take action, but what resulted was "a few official statements" and ultimately "no serious change," said Anne-Sophie Simpere, an advocacy officer for Amnesty International France.

  • The government set up a platform to record discriminatory police stops and a free hotline, but these improvements are undermined by the fact that the authorities continue to deny that discriminatory checks exist, Simpere noted.

Of note: France's powerful police unions have resisted changes. In June 2020, the government announced it would ban chokeholds as a police tactic, but protests by police prompted the decision to be reversed quickly.

  • A new security bill that bans filming the police spurred months of protests last winter, but was nevertheless approved by lawmakers in April.

The bottom line: The protests helped raise awareness and brought out a larger coalition of demonstrators than usual, but Simpere concluded that "racism is still a topic our country doesn’t want to face."


Protesters in June 2020 in Perth, Australia. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Black Lives Matter protests across Australia highlighted the targeting of Aboriginal Australians by the country's police.

The state of play: Aboriginal Australians experience racism "in the most pronounced way," according to Tim Soutphommasane, a professor at the University of Sydney and Australia's former Race Discrimination Commissioner.

  • More than 29% of prisoners in Australia are Aboriginal, despite the fact that they comprise only about 3% of the total population.
  • "There has also been a long history of Aboriginal people dying in disproportionate numbers while in custody," Soutphommasane noted.

The big picture: Australia's government has had a "skeptical" response towards the anti-racism protests, Soutphommasane said.

What he's saying: "Has it changed Australian society, or prompted a stronger stance against racism from our institutions? One year on, it hasn’t," Soutphommasane said.

  • "[T]here remain significant parts of Australian society that regard it a greater offense to call someone racist than to perpetrate racism."

What's next: In April, Australia's Labor Party proposeda plan to try to reduce incarceration rates of Aboriginal people if it wins next year's elections.


Protesters march through London towards Parliament Square in support of the Black Lives Matter movement Protesters march through London towards Parliament Square, July 2020. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Following mass demonstrations across the U.K. in June 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to create a commission to study all "aspects of inequality," per the BBC.

What came next: The resulting report was published in March and slammed by activists for downplaying the role of systemic racism in the country.

  • "Put simply we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities," the report stated.

The big picture: "The Black Lives Matter protests in Britain in 2020 have very little impact on changing policing practice," said Kevin Blowe, a campaigns coordinator at the Network for Police Monitoring.

  • Figures high up in the police force have rejected charges of institutional racism and criticized the sharing of videos showing police abusing their powers, Blowe said.
  • He added that the reasons behind the protests, including disproportionate stops by police and the targeting of Black communities for coronavirus fines, have been "brushed aside by the police."

The bottom line: "That isn't to say that the protests failed to achieve anything last year. They have unquestionably forced the spotlight back on racist policing in Britain," Blowe said. But he cautioned that the "gulf" between police and activists "is as wide today as it has ever been."


Protesters gather at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Photo: Mariana Bae/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter protests in Mexico were inspired by the movement in the U.S., but were also fueled by police brutality cases at home.

Driving the news: Giovanni López died while in police custody in Jalisco state in May, and police killed Victoria Esperanza Salazar, a refugee from El Salvador, in March.

The big picture: While the officers believed to be involved in these cases were arrested, Mexico hasn't seen structural changes to policing in the last year and the government has been dismissive of police brutality concerns, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, told Axios.

  • Instead, Mexico continues to deploy its military violently against migrants and asylum seekers — many of whom are Indigenous or Black, she added.

The bottom line: "Mexican society may be more conscious today about racism and police violence, but sadly we have not seen any transformative action from the authorities to put an end to racism, classism, xenophobia or police brutality," Guevara-Rosas said.

Go deeper:

Crime jumps after court-ordered policing changes

The slow moves to improve police training

Police recruiting suffers as morale hits new lows

The chief diversity officer hiring frenzy

Lordstown Motors: A tale of hubris, political pandering and regulatory failure

Lordstown Motors is the quintessential business fiasco. Equal parts hubris, political pandering and regulatory failure.

Why it matters: There's no indication that anyone will learn their lesson, except perhaps for some random retail investors who didn't diversify.

Keep reading... Show less

GM boosts investment in electric, autonomous vehicles by $8 billion

General Motors plans to boost its cumulative investment in electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion from 2020-2025, a significant jump from a $27 billion target.

Driving the news: GM said this morning that the initiative will include building two new battery cell manufacturing plants in addition to the two already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden administration buys 200 million additional doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine

The Biden administration has purchased an additional 200 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, the biotech company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Moderna says the additional doses could be used to vaccinate children or — if necessary — as a booster shot.

Keep reading... Show less

Live updates: Biden and Putin land in Geneva ahead of summit

President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for five hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.

The latest: Putin arrived in Geneva shortly before 7 a.m. ET and traveled via motorcade to Villa La Grange, a mansion set in a 75-acre park overlooking Lake Geneva. Biden arrived at around 7:20 a.m. ET. The two leaders are expected to take a photo with Swiss President Guy Parmelin before the meeting begins.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden-Putin summit: What to expect when you're not expecting much

After a bitter blast from Putin and tough talk from Biden, both sides agree: Don't count on much from Wednesday's summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What they're saying: "We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting," a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Air Force One from Brussels to Geneva. "No breaking of bread."

Keep reading... Show less

Florida's early reopening could make it a business travel mecca

As post-pandemic business travel comes back, experts say Florida's reopening policies should allow it to lock in a significant share of returning corporate events and meetings.

Why it matters: There's a lot of money to be made — with a lot of people itching to travel — after the sector lost $97 billion in spending last year, according to a new Tourism Economics analysis by the U.S. Travel Association.

Keep reading... Show less

There isn’t a worker shortage in the U.S. — there’s been a worker awakening

Many politicians, pundits and business owners have said pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home. But that's a much too simplistic explanation of today's employment situation.

The big picture: Many hard-hit sectors are rebounding faster than anecdotal evidence would suggest. And when jobs are hard to fill, a broader worker awakening over the past year is part of the reason.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden's surprise pick for FTC chair, a leading tech critic, is already rocking boats

By naming tech critic Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday, the White House made clear it is dead serious about antitrust enforcement and other measures to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

The intrigue: By naming Khan FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her appointment as one of five commissioners at the agency, the White House took both the industry and many D.C. insiders by surprise.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories