Tongans stand in solidarity with US protestors

A group of Tongans joined thousands of people in Auckland this week in support of US protestors against the killing of George Floyd.

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis over a week ago.  

Showing their solidarity with the protestors in the United States against Police brutality, the Tongans and other Pacific islanders were part of the crowd that attempted to reach the US consulate in Auckland. However, it was closed off by New Zealand Police.

The protest was initiated by a number of activists and groups in New Zealand, including UFC champion Israel Adesanya, the Polynesian Panthers and Parris Goebel, a popular Kiwi-Samoan hip hop choreographer in Auckland.

Goebel said via Twitter prior to the protest, "NZ STAND UP. If you are as frustrated and heartbroken as I am, meet me at Aotea Square tomorrow! ... It is easy to sit back and watch all of this on your phone from the other side of the world, but will you get up and march with us?"

A “fashion activist” and New Zealand Polynesian Panther supporter, Jaunnie 'Ilolahia told Matangi Tonga: "I’ve been watching the shocking and saddening story of George Floyd, the updates and protests all week. I shake my head because it reminds me of Rodney King and the countless other black men and women killed in police custody.”

“I am immediately grateful for our Pasifika history, the family I was born into, and firm fair leadership from a government that cares about its people. I feel blessed to be born in Aotearoa, NZ, and I'm proud of my Tongan culture and heritage...Auckland showed up!” she said.