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

2 June 2020, 12:30 | Updated: 2 June 2020, 15:53

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.

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.

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.

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."

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."

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.