John Boyega Speaks Out At London Black Lives Matter Protest

John Boyega at the London Black Lives Matter protest

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Actor and activist John Boyega was among those who attended a Black Lives Matter protest which gathered in London today in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Boyega, who grew up in South London and has had major roles in films including the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Attack The Block, has previously been outspoken about his anti-racist views on his social media accounts. At the protest he spoke loudly and passionately to his fellow protesters, rallying the crowd, calling for peaceful action, and naming a series of British and American Black people who have died in racist attacks or been killed by police.

“I need you guys to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing. And that isn’t the case anymore,” Boyega said. “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence. For Mark Duggan. It is very, very important that we keep control in this moment, and make this as peaceful as possible.” He also acknowledged that he felt his vocal support might negatively affect his future film appearances. “I’m speaking to you from my heart,” he said. “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.” Watch more of his speech below.

Boyega was most recently seen on screen in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker, reprising the role of Finn for a third time and rounding out his character arc in the Star Wars universe. He’ll next be seen as the lead in Chase Palmer’s upcoming Naked Singularity playing a successful public defender in the wake of losing his first case. The adaptation of Sergio De La Pava’s novel is currently in post-production having filmed prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. He’s also attached to star in Jeremy Saulnier’s upcoming Rebel Ridge, which is now in pre-production.

Empire stands in solidarity with Black people and people of colour against racist violence and systematic oppression, and we support the widespread protests currently taking place. Read here for our resource which includes links to petitions to sign, places to donate where possible, more information about Black Lives Matter, and recommended films by Black filmmakers that feel particularly pertinent to watch now and in future.

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