[Boyega]: I want to thank every single one of you for coming out. This is very important—this is very vital. Black lives have always mattered! We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless, and now is the time. I ain’t waiting! I ain’t waiting! I have been born in this country, I’m 28 years old, born and raised in London, I’ve grown tired—every black person understands and realizes the first time you are reminded that you are black. You remember, every black person in here remembers, when another person reminded you that you are black. So none of you out there, all those protestors on the other side protesting against what we want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve, [?] you, because this is so vital.
[Other voices, to crowd]: Sit down! Sit down!
[Boyega]: Sit down, guys, we have to sit down. If you could sit down, if you can sit down. Now I need you guys to understand, I need you to understand now how painful this shit is! I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing! And that isn’t the case anymore. That is never the case anymore. We are going to try today—we are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd.
[Boyega]: We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland! We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin! We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence! For Mark Duggan! It is very, very important that we keep control of this moment and we make this as peaceful as possible. We make this as peaceful and as organized as possible. Because you know what, guys, they want us to mess up. They want us to be disorganized. But not today! Not today!
[Other voices]: Not today!
[Boyega]: Not today! And now this message is specifically for black men. Black men, we—[Boyega cuts off, crying and bending over from emotion]
[Crowd]: Speak! Speak!
[Other voices]: You can do this, you’ve got this.
[Boyega]: Black men, black men, we need to take care of our black women. We need to take care of them! They are our hearts! They are our hearts, they are our future, we cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this, a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, have a better rate of becoming better human beings, and that’s what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you, and it’s done, man—we can’t be trash no more. We have to be better.
You don’t understand, I’m speaking to you from the heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this. But fuck that–[words bleeped out]. This, today, is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved; we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved. But today we’re going to make sure that that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones. I’m sure you lot came today, you left your kids, and when you see your kids there aimlessly playing, they don’t understand what’s going on. Today is the day that we remind them that we are dedicated, and this is a lifelong dedication. Guys, we don’t leave here and stop, you know. We don’t leave here and stop. This is longevity. Some of you are artists, some of you are bankers, some of you are lawyers, some of you own shops, stores. You are important. Your individual power, your individual right, is very, very important. We can all join together to make this a better world. We can all join together to make this special. We can all join together!
John Boyega at Hyde Park demonstration #BlackLivesMattter