The Latest: S Africa backs Black Friday anti-racism program
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— South Africa's ruling party launches Black Friday campaign.
— Australian protesters say racial inequality not unique to US
— NFL stars send a passionate video about racial inequality.
— Protesters take to New York City streets after curfew again.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South Africa’s ruling party says it is launching a “Black Friday” campaign in response to the “heinous murder” of George Floyd and “institutionalized racism” in the U.S., at home, in China and “wherever it rears its ugly head.”
A statement by the African National Congress says President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday evening will address the launch of the campaign that calls on people to wear black on Fridays in solidarity.
The campaign is also meant to highlight “deaths by citizens at the hands of security forces” in South Africa, which remains one of the world’s most unequal countries a quarter-century after the end of the racist system of apartheid.
“The demon of racism remains a blight on the soul of our nation,” the ANC statement says.
SYDNEY — Thousands gathered in Australia’s capital on Friday to remind Australians that the racial inequality underscored by George Floyd’s death was not unique to the United States.
The Canberra rally that attracted 2,000 demonstrators comes before larger rallies are planned for Australia’s most populous cities on Saturday, with authorities concerned about maintaining social distancing.
Police were on Friday seeking a court order banning a rally in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, because of the pandemic risk. A state government leader urged demonstrators not to attend a rally in Melbourne, the country's second-largest city.
Matilda House, an elder of the Ngambri-Ngunnawal family group who are the traditional owners of the Canberra region, said: “Australians have to understand that what’s been going on the United States has been happening here for a long time.”
Australia had to move beyond a colonial attitude “that blacks are only here to be walked on, trodden on and murdered,” House said in the first speech of the rally.
NEW YORK — Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Michael Thomas are among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night and includes Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.
Thomas, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver who has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, opens the video with the statement: “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.” The players then take turns asking the question, “What if I was George Floyd?”
The players then name several of the black men and women who have recently been killed, including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner.
The video closes with the players insisting they “will not be silenced.” They also demand the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people. ... We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. ... We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A police commissioner has suspended two officers following video that shows a Buffalo officer appearing to shove a man who walked up to police.
Video from WBFO shows the man appearing to hit his head on the pavement, with blood leaking out as officers walk past to clear Niagara Square on Thursday night.
The station reports two medics treated the unidentified man. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that the man was hospitalized and stable, but his exact condition wasn’t immediately known.
WIVB-TV reports that Buffalo police initially said in a statement a person “was injured when he tripped & fell.” But Capt. Jeff Rinaldo later told the TV station that an internal affairs investigation was opened. Later Thursday, news outlets reported that Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended two officers without pay.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office has tweeted that they’re aware of the video.
NEW YORK -- Protesters stayed on the streets of New York City after curfew for another day Thursday, spurred by the death of George Floyd.
Actions by the protesters included gathering at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, the site where police used batons against demonstrators who were out past the city-imposed curfew a night earlier.
Protesters continued past the 8 p.m. curfew Thursday, even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to deflect criticism over harsh tactics from police enforcing it.
Thousands of protesters were out after curfew, and so were police.
At some locations, officials watched, but didn’t immediately move in. At other spots, they made orderly arrests without the batons and riot gear, like a night earlier.
Follow more AP stories on the George Floyd protests and reaction at https://apnews.com/GeorgeFloyd