George Floyd: Italy marks Blackout Tuesday

Italian musicians support Blackout Tuesday, the social media movement organised in response to the killing of George Floyd.

Blackout Tuesday, the collective social media action by musicians, sports stars and celebrities to protest racism and police violence, is being supported by some of Italy's top musicians, from Marco Mengoni to Zucchero.

The initiative is being organised in response to the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man killed on 25 May by white police officer Derek Chauvin who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck until he died, while other police officers looked on.

The idea behind Blackout Tuesday - which coincides with Italy's national holiday Festa della Repubblica on 2 June - is to fill Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with black squares alongside the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday.

However organisers are asking people not to post the black squares with #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter hashtags as they say it clogs up critical channels of information and live updates for groups and activists as protests rage across the US.

Major international record labels, sporting organisations and television stations are also taking part, as well as bands including The Rolling Stones.

MTV, the Music Television Channel is to go silent for eight minutes - the length of time Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck.

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In Italy the singers and musicians adhering to #BlackoutTuesday include Laura Pausini, Emma Marrone, Alessandra Amoroso, Ermal Meta, Giorgia, Eros Ramazzotti, Biagio Antonacci, Francesco Gabbani, Elisa, J-Ax, Gianna Nannini, Ghali, Giuliano Sangiorgi and Negramaro.

Rome's Galleria Borghese has also blacked out its Instagram account.

Democrats Abroad is inviting members and supporters to join an online vigil on 2 June at 13.00 Eastern Standard Time (19.00 CEST) in protest against the atrocities happening in the United States and against institutionalised racism. Members and their supporters may speak out or just join the virtual vigil. For more details see website.