British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a stern warning to protesters who indulge in breaking the laws of the land.
Protests have sprung up worldwide after the death of George Floyd, a black American who died May 25 at the hands of a U.S police officer.
On the second day of anti-racism protests in the UK, a bronze statue in Bristol honouring slave trader Edward Colston, who left his fortune to charities, was pulled down from its base and dumped into the harbour.
Johnson said he sees the removal of the monument as a criminal act.
He said that he will not “indulge those who break the law, or attack the police, or desecrate public monuments”, adding that they would “face the full force of the law”.
According to Johnson, Floyd’s death awakened an “undeniable feeling of injustice”, acknowledging that people from black and minority ethnic groups “do face discrimination”.
“We who lead and who govern simply can’t ignore those feelings because in too many cases, I am afraid, they will be founded on a cold reality”, the prime minister said.
The prime minister also emphasised that he would not support protesters who violate social distancing rules.
“I will not support those who flout the rules on social distancing, for the obvious reason that we risk a new infection at a critical time, just as we have made huge progress. And no, I will not support or indulge those who break the law, or attack the police, or desecrate public monuments,” Johnson stated.