John Boyega delivered a rousing speech during a June 3 protest in support of Black Lives Matter at London’s Hyde Park. The “Star Wars” actor has been celebrated on social media over the last week for using his Twitter account to fight back against racist trolls, but now Boyega took his message to an in-person protest following the death of George Floyd. Video clips of Boyega’s protest speech are circulating on social media (via NME) and earning the actor even more acclaim for standing up so vocally for the black community.
“Black lives have always mattered,” Boyega told his fellow demonstrators. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting…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.”
More from IndieWire
- At-Home Viewers Seek Out Films About the Black Experience, from 'Just Mercy' to 'Waves'
- Jordan Peele and More Directors Eager to Cast John Boyega After Protest Speech: 'We Got You'
“I’m speaking to you from my heart,” Boyega added. “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.”
“Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process,” he continued while fighting back tears. “We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.”
Boyega urged his fellow protestors to keep their rally “as peaceful as possible” as to not fall into law enforcement’s trap of “wanting us to mess up, [wanting us] to be disorganized.” The actor said, “I need you to understand how painful this shit is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case anymore, that was never the case anymore.”
Boyega wrapped up his “Star Wars” tenure as Finn last December with the release of “The Rise of Skywalker.” The actor’s upcoming projects include the drama “Naked Singularity” opposite Ed Skrein, Bill Skarsgård, and Olivia Cooke. Watch a part of Boyega’s stirring Black Lives Matter speech below.
— SB.TV (@SBTVonline) June 3, 2020
Best of IndieWire
- Stream of the Day: Years Before 'Uncut Gems,' the Safdie Brothers Gave Us the Ultimate Dysfunctional New Yorker
- Coronavirus Cancellations: Every Film, TV Show, and Event Affected by the Outbreak
- The Best Movies of 2020 So Far