Reacting to the massive protests that have swept the US and the solidarity protests in various European countries following the killing of George Floyd by four police men, the Socialists and Democrats call on president Trump to stop defending white supremacists, listen to the anger of the black community and immediately stop the use of force against peaceful demonstrators and journalists.
S&D vice-president for foreign affairs, Kati Piri, said:
“We are deeply shocked by the killing of George Floyd, and the rise of the white supremacist movement in the US that is instigating racial clashes. We stand side by side with the peaceful protestors who are rightly angered by the institutional racism that generations of African Americans are faced with on a daily basis. In the past, the US judiciary had in many cases not prosecuted hate crimes committed by white perpetrators against people of colour. We demand that all officers involved in Floyd’s death face due legal process, and are held accountable.
“Hate speech and racism have no place anywhere - neither in Europe, nor the United States. In times of so much pain and anger, we expect the US president to listen to the demands of peaceful protestors. The use of force against journalists and innocent citizens has no place in a liberal democracy.
“We also hear the calls of ethnic minorities in Europe who face exclusion and racism. We therefore ask the European Commission to swiftly develop an EU framework for national strategies to combat racism, as the European Parliament has called for in last year’s resolution on the fundamental rights of people of African descent.”
Tonino Picula, the EP standing rapporteur on the US and S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs, said:
“The EU must not and cannot give up on cooperating with the United States, nor can it give up fighting for a world in which common problems are solved jointly.
“Following the latest tragic events and protests across the United States with great concern, we call on president Trump's administration to engage in an open and peaceful dialogue with legitimate protesters and acknowledge their requests for equality.
“The common principles that the EU and the US shared in building peace and prosperity for our nations over the past seventy years, such as democracy, the rule of law and minority rights, should not be promoted only in foreign policy, but upheld in all domestic policies.”