Have you noticed that people have been posting black squares on their social? Mostly on Instagram.
Everyone from celebrities and big corporations have vowed to not post on social media on Tuesdays which is known as Blackout Tuesday after the death of African American man George Floyd. Both white and people of colour have been demonstrating across the US after the death of Mr Floyd which led to protests against police brutality in America and even in other countries.
Amid a febrile atmosphere, 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.
So why Blackout Tuesday?
I bet when you say the black square you probably thought, what is this doing here? Right? The idea is to fill Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with black squares, freeing up the time usually dedicated to social media for people to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Organisers said they wanted Tuesday to be a “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” through “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”.
The campaign hit a slight bump in the road early on Tuesday with many people using the hashtags dedicated to Black Lives Matter.
This clogged up feeds meant for information related to protests around the world, which is something organisers were understood to be keen to avoid.
Who was George Floyd and what happened to him?
George Floyd, a 46-year-old bouncer, was killed on Monday May 25 by Derek Chauvin, a police officer, who pressed his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck until he died while other police officers watched.
Footage of the killing, taken by a bystander, showed Floyd lying face down and handcuffed, groaning for help and repeatedly saying, “please, I can’t breathe,” before becoming motionless.
Chauvin, had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total and two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Mr Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, has now called for the Minneapolis police officers to face the more serious charge of first-degree murder, based on the new findings.
Some Kenyans have also started a hashtag #kenyanslivesmatter since police brutality has been on the high since the lockdown. Police brutality has been ongoing for some time now but with this new kind of movements, creating awareness might just change the situation.