#BlackoutTuesday: Millions make stand against racism and turn internet black

Millions of people have turned the internet black for #BlackoutTuesday, a huge social media protest sparked following the death of George Floyd.

Rihanna, Jamie Foxx, Drake, Nile Rodgers and music mogul Quincy Jones are among the stars joining in.

As record companies including Sony Music, Atlantic Records, Capitol Music Group, Warner Records and Def Jam vowed that #TheShowMustBePaused, people all over the world have posted black squares on their Instagram accounts in solidarity.

George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock
Image:Protests are continuing following the death of George Floyd


— theshowmustbepaused (@pausetheshow) June 2, 2020

Radio stations and other companies have also pledged social media blackouts for the day.

In the US, acts including the Foo Fighters, Katy Perry and Britney Spears are supporting the movement, while in the UK musicians including Radiohead, Tim Burgess and Mumford & Sons, as well as Glastonbury Festival and high profile figures such as football star Gary Lineker, are also taking part.

Mr Floyd, who was African-American, died in Minneapolis last week. A white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for several minutes during an arrest for allegedly using a fake $20 note.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 01: Protestors march down Queen Street on June 01, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. The rally was organised in solidarity with protests across the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Image:Demonstrations have taken place all over the world

As protests have taken place around the world and the US continues to be gripped by unrest in the wake of the 46-year-old’s death, the #BlackoutTuesday initiative calls for business to be suspended for a day.

Organisers say they want a “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” through “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”.

Posting a black square on her Instagram page, Rihanna said her brand, Fenty, would not be “selling sh*t” on Tuesday.

Actor Jamie Foxx joins San Francisco "kneel-in" protest against Floyd killing

Actor Jamie Foxx joins protests

Foxx, who has joined protests in San Francisco, captioned his post with the hashtags “#blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd”.

Revered producer Jones wrote: “It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life. That said, its rearing its ugly head right now & by God it’s time to deal with it once & for all.

“As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss.”

View this post on Instagram

I try to live my life to answer the question, “How can I be of service?” I have spent the last few days watching, listening and reflecting about how to utilize my privilege and platform. I hope that #BlackoutTuesday gives us all (especially in the music industry) an opportunity to take what we’re learning and put it into action on Wednesday, and every day going forward. There are many ways to support the movement towards justice and equality. I’ve chosen to donate to the organizations tagged in this post. You can do the same at the link in my bio. This soon to be mother is going to work hard to make damn sure this world is a more just place for every child. #BlackLivesMatter

A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:04am PDT

View this post on Instagram

What the world needs now is love ….. 🌎💔 my heart breaks for my friends in the black community …. and for everything going on in our country. Right now I think we all should do what we can to listen …. learn … do better …. and use our voices for good. To start I will be participating in #BlackoutTuesday tomorrow ….. I won’t be posting on social media and I ask you all to do the same. We should use the time away from our devices to focus on what we can do to make the world a better place …. for ALL of us !!!!! PS if you’d like to help …. text FLOYD to 55156 and donate to organizations like #BlackLivesMatter if you are able to. God Bless You ALL !!!! #TheShowMustBePaused

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Jun 1, 2020 at 5:28pm PDT

Columbia Records said Tuesday “was not a day off” but a chance to “figure out ways to move forward in solidarity”.

Apple presenter Zane Lowe said he would not be presenting his radio show, saying instead he would be “listening, learning and looking for solutions to fight racial inequality”.

And British singer-songwriter Gabriel tweeted about Mr Floyd’s death, saying: “This type of brutality needs to be confronted directly, with justice clearly seen to be done whenever & wherever it occurs.”

Foo Fighters are observing Blackout Tuesday to stand with the black community and our colleagues, artists, crews, fans and leaders fighting against injustice and racism. Text FLOYD to 55156 to sign the Justice for George Floyd petition. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/CREqTlHeOs

— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) June 2, 2020

Demonstrations have broken out across the US in the wake of Mr Floyd’s death and other allegations of police brutality against people of colour.

Police have clashed with protesters in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, while Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the country’s military unless state authorities stop ongoing demonstrations.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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