Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country in protest of the killing of black American George Floyd by police in the past few weeks.
Demands have also been made to end racial discrimination in the country at the last rites of George Floyd, a black American who was killed by police on Wednesday.
His brother, Flanagan Floyd, has called on the US Congress to pass a bill to address police grievances.
The demonstrations, which have spread to various cities in the United States, are being attended by a large number of people from different walks of life and social classes, as well as a large number of people of South Asian descent.
Leading social and human rights group South Asian Americans Leading Together (Salt) said in its newsletter that as South Asians, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not discriminate against blacks in the system and at the societal level. Raise your voice and fight.
The BBC’s Vineet Khare spoke to a few South Asians in the United States who have been affected by the protests.
Rahul Dubey works in the field of healthcare innovation. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. “There was a tsunami of people outside,” he said. The police were beating people. I was standing at the door of my house. I started shouting, “Let’s hurry home.” I kept saying this for about ten minutes and about a hundred people came into my house. There was irritation in their eyes. He was shedding tears and was in an emotional state. The police were laughing at us and spraying paper inside the house.
My house is 1500 square feet, has a small yard. About twenty people were there and thirty people were in the living room. We were all hungry so we ordered pizza at about eleven o’clock. But the police blocked the way. They stayed at my house until six or seven in the morning. ‘
Six hours later, I realized the danger of the coronavirus
He said. From today, I am quarantining myself.
“We talked all night,” said Rahul Dubey. Some of them were live streaming on social media. We talked about the fears we were going through, and what we should do, what the security forces would do, the conversation involved blacks, whites, Hispanics and Indians.
Raza Rumi, director of the Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, also took part in the protests.
“Police violence is common in the areas we come from,” he said. This problem exists globally. How many films, dramas and stories have been written about clashes with the police in India?
He said the issue would be a major issue in this year’s US general election. There are a lot of people of color in America. The last time his vote was split between Hillary and Bernie Sanders.
“If a black person goes to jail for a crime, all future opportunities are reduced. Muslims have also been hard hit since 9/11. I have read their stories, heard about them, talked about them. He was also tortured by the police. This will all change over time. But nothing will happen overnight. These demonstrations have reminded Americans that they have to listen to these voices. It can’t continue like this.
“I can be affected by it too. I am brown, I am a Muslim,” he said. I belong to a Muslim country Pakistan. I can be suspected for various reasons. Unless the police and the justice system are neutral, what will I fight against? We are all weak. South Asians are participating because they are smaller in population than Hispanics and African Americans. It is a matter of solidarity. Here in the United States, South Asians live together, even if they have problems with each other.
Manahel Mehdi, student involved in the protest
I study at Harvard University, where I am doing an undergraduate course. I was born and raised in Pakistan, I also had the opportunity to participate in social movements there.
“When the protests started after the George Floyd case, we felt that as students we should show solidarity. We support those who have been persecuted for centuries. We do the same in Pakistan, whether they are refugees, women or our Pashtun brothers. It is our responsibility to take part in this protest and to stand by them. It’s a natural feeling and we didn’t have to think twice about it. “
Because of Code 19, everyone in the demonstration wore a mask. People were sharing sensitizers with each other and the distance was maintained. There were four to five hundred people and all were treated very well.
We heard many people’s stories and testimonies. We’ve seen the consequences of being black in the United States. They tell us how they feel when they go to the market to buy things. I saw solidarity among the people here and it was a great experience.
“Prejudice has also been seen in South Asia since the departure of the British,” Manahel said. We also have a sense of inferiority in terms of color, whether it’s jobs or marriage.