Over the past three weeks since George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25, Americans across the country have taken to the streets in protest. These mass demonstrations focus not only on justice for Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who were slain by police violence, but also on calling for an uncompromising reexamination of institutional racism in our nation.
Protests have played a central role in many of our most memorable social and political movements, from the Civil Rights Movement, student organizing against the Vietnam War, Stonewall and HIV/AIDs activism, to more recent protests against climate change and gun violence, as well as marches in support of women. Initial skepticism over the effectiveness of protest has begun to give way to political change.
Three weeks in, this most recent iteration of a decades-old movement is unwavering in more than 2000 U.S. cities, and hundreds more internationally, despite COVID-19-related restrictions in many states and forceful repression by police departments and, in some cases, the National Guard.
Some lasting structural changes have already been made. The Minneapolis City Council announced plans to disband and reinvent the city’s police department, while the New York State legislature repealed 50-a, ending qualified immunity. House Democrats have also proposed a wide-ranging police reform bill.
Bowdoin students, scattered across the country and around the world, are protesting in cities and towns for change. These are their photographs.
Compiled by Mackey O’Keefe