“Black lives have always mattered,” Boyega told a crowd through a megaphone in Hyde Park. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded, regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
"I need you to understand how painful this shit is,” he continued through tears. “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 specifically invoked the deaths of Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin in the United States and Stephen Lawrence and Mark Douggan in the United Kingdom, urging protesters to “take control of this moment and we make this as peaceful as possible.” He also called on black men to “take care of our black women.”
“They are our hearts,” Boyega said. “They are our future, we cannot demonize our own, we are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: A nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, have a better rate of becoming better human beings, and that’s what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you, it’s done man, we can’t be trash no more. We have to be better.”
"I’m speaking to you from my heart," he continued. "Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f--- that."
Boyega went viral last week after condemning racism on social media and telling racist fans to “f--- off” after Floyd’s death. He shared on Twitter: “This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle” and “I really f---ing hate racists.”
Floyd died last week after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonFormer Rep. Raúl Labrador running for Idaho attorney general Keith Ellison seeking reelection as Minnesota attorney general Minneapolis votes down measure replacing police department MORE (D) on Wednesday upgraded the charges against Chauvin to second-degree murder, and three other officers at the scene of Floyd’s death were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.