The European Parliament has declared “black lives matter” as it adopted a resolution in response to the racial justice protests that have spread throughout Europe since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
493 MEPs voted in favour, 104 against, and 67 abstained in the vote which also declares the slave trade is “”a crime against humanity”.
In its text, Parliament “strongly condemns the appalling death of George Floyd in the United States, as well as similar murders elsewhere in the world”.
It expresses its support for recent demonstrations against racism and discrimination and condemns “white supremacism in all its forms”.
MEPs condemn police action against “peaceful American demonstrators and journalists” and the “inflammatory rhetoric” of US President Donald Trump.
“The excessive use of force against the crowd is contrary to the principle of proportionality,” they write.
The resolution also stresses that racist and xenophobic speech is not a matter of freedom of expression.
During Wednesday’s plenary debate, German MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana said she had been the victim of police violence the day before in Brussels when she photographed a speech she considered abusive, a version disputed by the Belgian police.
She was given a standing ovation for her speech, and told Euronews how touched she was by the gesture.
The UN Human Rights Council also unanimously adopted on Friday a resolution condemning systemic racism and police violence, but after the withdrawal of a specific reference to the United States.