George Floyd protests: How the world is gaping and gloating as massive uprisings spread across US

Nations hectored by Washington over human rights and democratic values aren't turning down the opportunity to reflect on the US's own troubles, as Borzou Daragahi, Oliver Carroll, Bel Trew and Adam Withnall report

Monday 01 June 2020 17:02 BST
(AFP via Getty Images)

In Russia, state television depicted the fiery mass unrest in the US as akin to a “dystopian movie.” Across the Arab world, commentators called protests in America over the killing of George Floyd as an “American Spring”, a reference to the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that toppled regimes across the Middle East.

In London, Berlin, Toronto and elsewhere protesters held solidarity vigils, holding up portraits of the slain 46-year-old, who was pronounced dead shortly after a white Minneapolis police officer ignored his cries of “I can’t breathe” and pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Across the world, US allies and adversaries gaped and gloated over the scenes of mass protests, which appeared to reflect persistent ethnic disharmony, social injustice and brutality by the security forces - including against journalists attempting to cover the ongoing events.

“For those of us who are American allies and friends, this is just the latest example of how the US seems to be on a slippery slope away from the standards and values it has aspired [for] all of us to follow,” said Ziya Meral, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

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