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Protesters rally outside US consulate in German city of Hamburg, slamming racism

People protest against police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, at the US Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany June 5, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Thousands of people have demonstrated in front of the American General Consulate in the German city of Hamburg to protest against racism and police brutality in the United States.

Some 4,500 mostly young people rallied outside the US consulate along the banks of the Alster river in the northern German city on Friday, holding banners and placards denouncing racial profiling against African Americans across the US.

The event had originally been registered for only 250 participants, protest organizers said.

The demonstration was inspired by the tragic killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota on May 25. The horrific incident has already triggered massive anti-racism protests across the US and turned violent at times.

The policeman, whose first trial was held on Thursday, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, after arresting him for allegedly purchasing cigarettes with a counterfeit bill.

“I am subject to not quite violence but the discrimination by the police; more and unjustified checks, even unjustified violence against us sometimes. And yes, today we are here to put out the message that it has to stop. Enough is enough," said one of the protesters.

The rally in Hamburg, which was registered under the slogan “Justice for Floyd - stop killing blacks - stop the racial terrorism in the USA”, was interrupted by police intervention.

Authorities claimed protesters had violated police instructions to follow COVID-19 rules, including wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing.

However, the attendees did not disperse immediately and sat instead on the ground for several more hours before the rally eventually started to break up in the late afternoon.

A similar and simultaneous protest with the participation of thousands of attendees was also held in Germany's financial hub, Frankfurt.

French capital to see anti-racism protest at weekend

Protesters in Paris are set to hold a big protest rally for Saturday near the Eiffel Tower under the slogans “Let us breathe”, “No justice, no peace”, echoing the words used since Floyd's death triggered demonstrations across the US.

The call for holding a fresh rally follows a tense 20,000-strong protest held in the capital on Tuesday over alleged brutality and racism by the police. It was remembering the death of black 24-year-old Adama Traore who lost his life in police custody back in 2016.

His death has long been a rallying cause for critics of the French police.

French authorities have banned two protest rallies against police violence planned on Saturday outside the US embassy in Paris, citing a COVID-19 restriction on gatherings of over 10 people.

On Friday night, several thousand youths dressed in black filled the streets in the eastern city of Strasbourg to remember Floyd.

There have also been calls for similar rallies in Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille, Nantes and Metz on Saturday.

In recent days, similar anti-racism protests have been held across Europe.

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